AGRICULTURE

New anti-rustling online map gets the farmer tick

Monday 29 July 2013, 2:14PM
By Federated Farmers of New Zealand
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Federated Farmers is applauding, Stop Stock Theft, New Zealand’s first ever online map designed to report and track suspected stock theft.  This joint initiative between Crimestoppers NZ, NZX-Agri and the Police will be welcomed by all farmers.

“While shoplifting costs New Zealand some $730 million each year, stock theft is reportedly costing the country a further $120 million,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson.

“These are massive sums for red meat farmers who are struggling against a backdrop of the New Zealand dollar and difficult market conditions.

“Stock theft, also known as rustling, is a low blow because once you lose stock you cannot replace them.  They are gone and it robs your farm business of vital income.

“While the Police do take theft seriously the new website, ‘Stop Stock Theft,’ allows victims to report things anonymously.  This is about building up intelligence on when and where the theft took place and what was taken.

“That website can be found at www.agrihq.co.nz/home/livestock-theft.

“Given Federated Farmers has a close relationship with Police, provincially and nationally, this website is a fantastic tool for our members.  It will give a voice to those in isolated rural areas who may feel intimated.

“Late last year, two people on the East Coast were convicted of rustling 160 sheep but realistically that was the tip of an iceberg.  When you are stealing hundreds of animals it demands organisation involving stockmen, working dogs and trucks.

“This mapping system sends a powerful message to casual and organised criminals that rural communities have had enough.  We are getting the tools together and if you persist in rustling stock, it will not be if you will be caught, but when you will be caught.

“I cannot stress enough how valuable this tool will be as long as farmers use it.

“Federated Farmers will be encouraging our members to bookmark Stop Stock Theft and log stock when they are taken.  The more intelligence we can gather as a community for the Police, the more we’ll be able to prevent stock rustling from happening in the first place.

“Crimestoppers NZ, NZX-Agri and the Police deserve full praise for this initiative,” Katie Milne concluded.