Tips to protect your farm from theft

By Alexia Johnston

Police are also investigating the alleged theft of seven cattle from a property on Banks Peninsula. Photo / ODT File
Police are also investigating the alleged theft of seven cattle from a property on Banks Peninsula. Photo / ODT File

A spate of thefts around South Canterbury has farmers turning to social media.

Hay bales and lambs are among the items people across the district have reported missing in recent weeks.

Central Rural Life contacted some of those affected, but they either declined to comment or did not respond.

Police are also investigating the alleged theft of seven cattle from a property on Banks Peninsula.

By Wednesday last week, two of the missing cattle from the Port Levy property had been found.

A police spokesman said inquiries were continuing in relation to the remaining missing cattle, along with five Friesian bulls, which were missing from a neighbouring property.

''Stock theft does happen from time to time and the investigation reinforces the need for diligence around security in rural areas.

''If anyone has any information about stock going missing, they should report it promptly to local police.''

South Canterbury Federated Farmers president Mark Adams reiterated that message.

''I'm encouraging rural folk to let the police know, however minor, because it builds on a bigger picture,'' he said.

''(Police) need to know what's going on in their patch and they need the rural community to support them in that.''

Mr Adams also urged people to report suspicious behaviour.

''If something doesn't look right, it might require a follow up or closer scrutiny.''

''When a property has been exposed to theft, it's just so frustrating for everybody concerned,'' he said.

''Rural communities operate with high levels of trust. When incidents happen trust evaporates.''

He said protecting your property in a rural setting was ''really difficult''.

However, there were some measures farmers could take to limit the risk of theft or suspicious activity, including padlocks on gates.

Farm security tips

- Keep boundary fences and gates in good condition and secure.
- Cut trees and bushes back to reduce opportunity for offenders to go unseen.
- Install lighting around farm buildings and out-buildings.
- Install alarms to appropriate buildings and sheds.
- Lock external doors.
- Secure windows.
- Keep keys for buildings and equipment secured and out of view.
- Lock stockyard gates and loading ramps away if possible.
- Keep records of livestock, including sales, purchases, earmarks and ear tags.
- Ensure fuel tanks are dipped, secured and locked.
- Exchange phone numbers with neighbours.

Central Rural Life

- Otago Daily Times

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