Notwithstanding any other law, in any action for the wrongful taking, possessing, harboring, or transporting of cattle, for the driving of cattle off their usual range, or for the killing or slaughter of cattle without the consent of the owner or the person lawfully in possession of such cattle, the detriment caused thereby to the plaintiff shall be four times the value of the cattle at the time of the taking, possessing, harboring, transporting, or driving, or killing or slaughtering thereof, with interest from that time, plus an amount in fair compensation for the time and money properly expended by the plaintiff in pursuit of the cattle.
This section shall not apply to a secured party, as defined in paragraph (73) of
subdivision (a) of Section 9102 of the Commercial Code, when taking possession of cattle pursuant to a security agreement if one of the following conditions has been met prior to movement of any such cattle:
(a) The secured party has requested and received a brand inspection of the cattle covered by the security agreement pursuant to Sections 21051.5 and 21171 of this code.
(b) The secured party has requested the inspection required by subdivision (a) and due to an insufficient amount of time to inspect the cattle prior to their movement, the brand inspector agrees to allow movement of the cattle, with inspection of the cattle to be made at their first destination prior to their commingling with any other cattle.
The inspection performed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) shall be conducted for the sole purpose of assuring that the cattle
that are moved are the same cattle subject to the security agreement.
In a proper case, which shall include the killing or slaughter of cattle, exemplary damages may be awarded to the plaintiff as provided in Section 3340 of the Civil Code.
The commencement of any criminal prosecution for grand theft of cattle shall not preclude or prevent the commencement of any civil action for damages, as specified in this section.