Though livestock theft saw a decrease in the second quarter of this year, the likelihood of theft increasing over the Christmas holiday period is high, says Isabel Kruger from the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) stock theft forum. She joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss safety tips for livestock farmers.
“Livestock theft is an organised crime. There are people [who] are actually giving the orders, there are people who are runners, there are people who are brand marking the cattle. It’s organised crime.”
Kruger says, above all, farmers should consider their safety, their families and the safety of their employees. She strongly urges farmers to be on high alert during these Christmas holidays, as in some parts of the country the season signals an increase in stock theft.
“[With] sheep [theft], there’s been a little decrease but not [with] cattle and goats, [where] there was a really high increase – especially in the Free State and also in the Western Cape. We will see this Christmas time that the stock theft will increase.”
Personal safety is the most important factor
Kruger emphasises the importance of securing your premises, and adds that knowing who you allow onto your property is of the utmost importance.
She explains common scenarios criminals have used in the past in order to steal livestock.
“We see in certain cases that people come onto your farm, [and] they tell you they want to buy some cattle and they want to buy some goats. But what they are actually doing is just checking out what goes on on your farm. How many people there are, how many people are in the house, just to come back to steal some of your cattle. So make sure that [people] don’t get on your premises.”
She also recommends that farmers keep as little cash on their property as possible and that they are safe when buying or selling livestock. “[Criminals] just come into your house, and they don’t care about your life or your family’s life. Even if it’s just R1 000, they will kill you for that, so make sure when you [are] buying or selling cattle that you are not alone when these transactions take place.”
Kruger also encourages farmers to change their routines so criminals do not know what their whereabouts will be.
“[Criminals] are checking your farms from a distance. They know your movements. During this Christmas season and into January, I would suggest that you change [your schedule] daily so they don’t know exactly what your movement on the farm would be.”
Ultimately, when dealing with livestock theft personal safety is of the utmost urgency. “It is very important that you and your family must be safe [during] this Christmas time.”
Other podcast highlights:
This week’s Farmer’s Inside Track also has other highlights from the agricultural sector:
- Dairy farming 101: Dairy farming requires resilience and hard work. Kireshni Naiker, aspiring dairy farmer from Chatsworth in Durban, gives us some insight into how to start a dairy operation.
- Pig reproduction: Agrifarmacy’s Dr Nadia de Beer tells us about BoarBetter, the new pig reproduction product that came about through an Afrivet and Vetoquinol collaboration.
- Agripreneur 101: After studying indigenous ways of life, Dr Yvette Abrahams decided to start her own brand of personal care products, Khoelife, using indigenous methods.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is The New Farm by Brent Preston.
- Farmer’s Tip of the Week: Our farmer’s tip this week comes from Stephanie Mullins, SEED programme manager.
How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track
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