The Police in the North West would like to warn the community about escalating stock theft cases in various parts of the Province. In order to address and deal with the situation, the police urge the broader community including farmers to ensure that they take pro-active measures to curb incidents relating to stock theft.
It has been established that private and communal farms are left unguarded and in some instances, livestock is left without shepherds for a long time and without regular check and count. The community and farmers are encouraged to follow proper procedures and provisions of existing laws, including Animal Identification Act, Act No. 6 of 2002 as well as Meat Safety Act, Act No. 40 of 2000.
The community is discouraged from buying meat from unknown and unreliable street sellers because often that meat was not slaughtered at abattoirs in terms of provisions of the Meat Safety Act. The meat is likely to cause various hygiene related diseases and that also creates the market for stock theft suspects.
It is important that all stock is brand marked or tattooed in terms of provisions of Animal Identification Act and refrain from relying on the earmarks, as sometimes it is difficult to trace the owners particularly when such livestock is recovered. Community must also avoid transporting and selling of stock without permits. Contravention of all legislatures may lead to prosecution.
It has also been realised that livestock owners often report cases of theft while actually their livestock is missing or astray. This creates a problem as some of those animals are found roaming along provincial and national roads, thus leading to motor vehicle accidents. Farmers are once more, be it subsistence or commercial are warned that animals that are found along the road, legally must be impounded where the owner must pay the pounds fees to get them back.