Police have appealed for information after a large amount of cattle were stolen from a farm in Northern Ireland.
On Saturday (13 July), a farmer in the Colane Road area of Aghagallon, County Antrim, discovered 29 cattle had been stolen from his farm.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the cattle were all of mixed breeds and were believed to have been stolen some time between Friday evening (12 July) and Saturday morning.
Report rural crime anonymously
Farmers, rural communities and the public can give information about any incidents of livestock theft anonymously to the NFU’s Rural Crime Reporting Line, run in partnership with the charity Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 783 0137 or visiting www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk.
A police spokesperson said: “Moving that amount of cattle may not have appeared suspicious at the time, so if you think you may have seen anything, or know anything about this, give us a ring on 101 quoting reference 1354 of 13/07/19.”
According to rural insurer NFU Mutual, rural crime in Northern Ireland cost £2.6m in 2017 – up almost 6% on the previous year.
Livestock, quad bikes, ATVs and tractors are the biggest targets for thieves.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union has called for the police and courts to work together to impose tougher sentences for rural criminals.
Top tips to deter livestock theft
- Padlock field gates
- Ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date
- Where possible, graze livestock in fields away from roads
- Check stock regularly, but vary times of feeding/check-ups
- Consider a high-tech marking system such as TecTracer, which puts thousands of coded microdot markers into a sheep’s fleece
- Ask neighbours to report any sightings of unusual vehicles loading sheep
- Join a FarmWatch scheme
Source: NFU Mutual