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Oklahoma Must Enact Branding Laws for the Sake of Motorists

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Since 2002, there have been a reported 10 deaths and several severely injured, where unsuspected drivers have struck either a cow or horse in the roadway; often causing severe and debilitating injuries. This is an epidemic in our state that immediately needs legislative attention.

Oklahoma is a closed range state meaning livestock has to be kept fenced in. However, the state does not require that the livestock be branded or marked often making it difficult to track down their owners. Over the last year we have had several cases where loose livestock has caused severe injuries to Oklahoma drivers. As stated above, there are no laws governing people to tattoo or brand their livestock in Oklahoma. Without the tattoo or brand, finding the owner is as difficult, if not more than searching for a serial killer. (At least they leave a mark).

Many are under the assumption that their vehicle insurance will help. Pay for the property damage. (Yes), but the medical, loss of income, or loss of loved one by Uninsured motorist, then usually no. Uninsured Motorist will only help if another vehicle has been involved.

The way the laws are now, there is almost no way to hold anyone accountable for their negligence as livestock owners. Livestock owners not only have to protect their livestock, but also need to protect people from them.

Problem still lies in accountability, if you or someone you know is responsible for the animal getting out, fess up, take the responsibility and do not be a coward.