EDINBURG The Hidalgo County Clerk's Office would like to remind and encourage all livestock owners to re-register their animal brands! Brands are proof of ownership and the easiest way to identify cattle.

Beginning Aug. 30, Texas will commence its statewide brand re-registration period, which extends from August 31, 2011 to February 29, 2012. Every decade near the end of August, the State of Texas requires that all brands, regardless of the original date of registration, are re-registered within their respective counties.

A new Mark and Brand Application, distributed by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, will be required when registering or re-registering animal brands. The effective date of this application extends from August 31, 2011 to August 31, 2021. Livestock owners can obtain this application by visiting the County Clerk's web site at www.hidalgocountyclerk.us or by visiting our office located on the first floor of the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg.

If brands are not registered within the six month grace period extending from August to February, owners risk losing ownership to their specific brand. First time registrants are simply required to complete and file the new application with our office.

A new website from TSCRA, www.tscrabrands.com, also offers registrants a searchable database to research whether a brand design has already been registered during the 2011 registration period.

For more information visit the Hidalgo County Clerk's Office online. If you havespecific questions regarding the re-registration of your cattle brands, contact the County Clerk's Office Vital Statistics Department at 956-318-2100.