CBS Sunday Morning News Segment About Cattle Branding

In case you missed it, there was a segment on this past Sunday’s CBS Morning News about cattle branding. The segment was called “The Mark Of An Old West Tradition.”

Cattle ranchers have been using branding irons to identify their herds for many generations. The actual method of branding was shown in the segment in which the rancher doing the branding (he has been branding cattle for 50 years) said “do it carefully and do it right” to inflict the least amount of pain possible. Although he said that the key to using the branding iron was to “get it on there and get it off quick,” the branding was still horrendous for me to watch no matter how quickly it was supposedly done.

It was fairly stated in the segment that the tradition of cattle branding is threatened with extinction because some states and the federal government are moving towards requiring ranchers to use computerized databases and ear tags on all cattle to be traded, sold and moved between the states.

The frustrating part of the segment’s message was that the custom of cattle branding does not seem to be going away so easily even though ranchers could now keep track of their cattle with these updated methods. The ranchers on the show were all in favor of keeping the tradition of branding which was referred to as a “throwback to the old west.” One of the ranchers on the show was quoted as saying that he would like branding to continue for “sentimental reasons” and for generations down the road to know his brand and to know that “we were here.”

Inflicting such pain for “sentimental reasons?” UGH!

CLICK HERE to watch the video clip of the segment.

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