Livestock theft a growing concern

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Incidents of stock theft in South Africa are not confined to border areas with at least one “inland” province this week reporting the recovery of stolen cattle.

North West’s Vryburg SAPS stock theft unit working in collaboration with volunteer organisation Security Network of North West recovered 85 head of cattle as well as arresting a suspect for the theft of 98 calves from a farm in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality.

Praise for those involved came from Democratic Alliance (DA) Naledi local municipality constituency head, Carin Visser, who said efforts to track still missing stock were continuing.

Two weeks ago UDM (United Democratic Movement) leader Bantu Holomisa raised the issue of stock theft, particularly on the Lesotho border. He said the theft of livestock was increasingly accompanied by attacks, with people being killed.

Last month, the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) said theft of livestock, without specifying whether cattle, goat or sheep, cost the national economy R1.4 billion a year.

NSTPF chair Willie Clack said damage caused by stock theft to the wider agricultural sector meant it would always rate as a serious crime. He is reported as saying the more commercial farmers suffered livestock theft the more the meat and dairy industries were at risk of losing production and business.