A trailer load of cattle found Monday along Interstate 12 heading east near Hammond were stolen from an Iberville Parish cattleman, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry.

Authorities also say the trailer carrying the cattle had been stolen from another Iberville Parish farmer; the trailer was abandoned on I-12 after having an axle problem and two flat tires.

The heifers, stolen from Tim Andre’s Rosedale-area ranch, were returned Wednesday.

“Thank God, and we’re glad to have them back,” said Andre of the well-over $30,000 worth of cattle, which will go to sale shortly.

The cattle were housed at Amite Stockyard as the Agriculture Department’s Brand Commission and law enforcement looked for leads in the theft.

“Because these cattle were not branded, it took us longer to identify who owned these heifers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.

Complicating the investigation was an error with records of the trailer’s registration number.

“We encourage all livestock owners to properly identify their animals with official ear tags or brands.

“Farm equipment such as trailers must also be properly inventoried so identification can be made in theft cases.”

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call the LDAF hotline at (855) 452-5323 or Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A reward up to $1,000 is being offered through the LDAF Livestock Crime Stoppers Program for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these thefts.