Remarkable Records: Hides and Animal Inspection Records

Remarkable Records

When searching our local retention schedules, you may come across a record series that seems familiar—like a series you have seen before. This is not a sense of déjà vu. Sometimes the same series is included on different schedules, and there is a good reason we do that.

In this edition of Remarkable Records, we take closer look at duplicate series—records series that describe the same type of record but mysteriously show up on different retention schedules. An example of a duplicate series is animal inspection records:

CC1475-15RECORD OF INSPECTION (RECORD OF HIDES AND ANIMALS)Certified copy of the records of inspection by the inspector of hides and animals.PERMANENT.
HR4875-04INSPECTION RECORDRecord of inspection of each animal or hide sold in the county, leaving the county for sale or shipment, driven in the county for slaughter, slaughtered, or for other reasons as provided by law.PERMANENT.

From first glance the two series pertain to the same type of record. So, why not have the record series listed on one schedule instead of two? What purpose does the same record series have listed on two separate schedules? Looking out from the two series let’s look at each subseries, their respective schedules, and how they connect.

Schedule CC: Records of County Clerks

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CC1476-15 Record of Inspection (Record of Hides and Animals) is located in Section 2-11: Livestock Records from Schedule CC: Records of County Clerks, which comprises of series such as cattle records, brand reference books, and butchers’ records. The section does not have an opening remark about Section 2-11 to provide any background or information on the purpose of these series and why they are arranged outside from the registration, care, or sale of livestock. The clues from the record series are gleaned from the record title “Records of Hides and Animals” and the record description stating, “inspector of hides and animals.” The retention period designates these records as permanent. What are these records of inspection of the inspector of hides and animals? Why are they kept permanently?

Schedule HR: Records of Public Health Agencies

In Schedule HR: Records of Public Health Agencies, a similar series turns up. The series in Schedule HR bears a similar title and is classified as HR4875-04 Inspection Record found in Part 6: Records of the County Inspector of Hides and Animals. Once again “Inspector of Hides and Animals” comes up and the section comes with a preamble. The records in Part 6 originated from a defunct office previously known as county inspector of hides and animals.

What was the office of inspector of hides and animals?

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The office of the inspector of hides and animals began in 1871 as a county position across the state of Texas. The office’s primary purpose was to assist in the prevention of cattle theft sent out for sale outside of the counties throughout the state. The functions of the former county office’s records explain why it seems to be holdover out of the old west.

The office remained listed as an elected county office until two acts of legislation dissolved it. In the 80th Texas Legislature in 2007, House Joint Resolution Bill 69 proposed a constitutional amendment to remove the office from the state constitution, and the bill passed. The second act came in 2009 by the 81st Legislature House Bill 328 to abolish the office and remove it from statutes such as the Election Code, Agriculture Code, and the Local Government Code. The bill accounted for the records maintained by the inspector and transferred them to the custody of the “county clerk of the county previously served by the inspector.”

The change in custody provided by House Bill 328 explains why the records of inspection are listed in Schedule CC and the preamble in Part 6 of Schedule HR, stating the records “are now binding on the county clerk or any other current custodian” who inherited the records. Though not all counties or local governments will have these records, if they exist they must be retained according to the retention period.

Does anyone remember this county office? Do any of you maintain these records?  Let us know in the comments below.

For more discovery into remarkable records on the local retention schedules, check out Remarkable Records: Wildlife Edition.

For more about the custodianship of records, check out FAQ: Who is the custodian of this record?

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