Livestock theft has become too costly for British farmers
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is asking Police Chief Constables to ensure that forces have a dedicated rural police team to help efforts tackling rural crime, as livestock theft has become a real threat for British farmers.
New figures show that the cost of livestock theft has risen by 11% over two years, reaching GBP 2.5 million in 2018, according to NFU officials.
"It has been clear in recent months that incidents of livestock theft have been rising and the figures today clearly confirm that is the case. Livestock theft can have a devastating impact on farmers and their businesses, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to animals. If we are to properly get on top of this problem, we need to see dedicated rural police teams in every force that can work to catch these criminals. We have seen success in counties that have introduced these teams and I would encourage forces to learn from each other to ensure rural areas are properly policed", said NFU Deputy President Guy Smith.
Besides the financial losses, there are also concerns about food safety as the animals stolen from farms could enter the food supply chain without proper control. "As well as costing farm businesses significantly, there is concern that these incidents can compromise animal welfare and traceability. British livestock farmers rear their animals to world-leading animal welfare standards and I would urge shoppers to always look out for the Red Tractor logo on the food they buy to guarantee food quality, safety and standards", added Guy Smith.
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