Livestock Theft

24th March 2020

The Hot Topic – How Panic Buying is Leading to Theft and More… Protecting Livestock

With everyone uncertain about the current crisis, the UK population has been left with unanswered questions and panic stricken buying habits. Supermarkets have seen an influx of stockpiling during the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving shelves empty and many without basic necessities.

However, with many desperate and unable to find food within their local supermarkets, crime within rural areas has increased. Organised criminals are profiting from the fear, which has lead to increased livestock theft and even the slaughtering of animals on site for their meat.

Livestock Theft

In order to help supermarkets adjust to such high demands on their products, the UK Government announced it would be relaxing the strict curfews implemented for overnight deliveries. This means stores will have additional delivery dates and more products will be available. But even with more food readily accessible from our supermarkets, criminals won’t stop their activity, selling livestock for meat. How can we stop them from entering the fields and stealing and/or killing these animals in the first place?

Just a week ago, police seized a vehicle that contained 70 stolen sheep within the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire area. The vehicle was quickly apprehended and the flock was returned. But what would have happened if they hadn’t been found?

We’ve previously discussed the increase in livestock theft and how they can steal up to 100 animals from unsecure fields, undetected. This has been a major crime within rural areas for many years, but with the panic of COVID-19, it’s spurred many criminals to prey on the worried and increase their criminal activity for profit.

Livestock Theft

So the question is how can farmers protect their fields from unauthorised access and criminal activity during these uncertain times?

No one knows how long this pandemic will last; it could be weeks or months. However, we do know that security needs to be heightened for livestock fields in order to protect the animals and people’s livelihoods. Implementing temporary and adaptive physical security measures could be the answer people are looking for.

Due to the unknown, temporary security measures may be able to protect premises from criminal behaviour with the same amount of safety as permanent security. The difference is temporary security can be moved, adapted and removed as easy as they were executed. Farmers and their fields are in need of high security solutions during this uncertain time, but may not need this a couple of months down the line. It gives landowners the choice and flexibility when protecting their fields.

So the hot topic asks; how can farmers effectively protect their fields and livestock from criminal activity? Could temporary security measures be the answer they have been looking for?