Big reward campaign targets livestock thieves

Livestock theft is a serious concern within the farming community.

Livestock theft is a serious concern within the farming community.

Farmers in Mayo are being encouraged to support a new crime prevention campaign targeting rustlers.

The Irish Farmers Association, Crimestoppers, and the Garda have joined forces to launch the new campaign, which is offering a €10,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with significant information to bring livestock thieves before the courts.

Thirteen livestock were stolen in Mayo last year and already, in the first two months of 2015, three livestock have been stolen.

Mayo IFA chairperson, Padraic Joyce, said rustling is a serious concern within the farming community.

Nationally, there were 159 livestock stolen last year, and in one incident, a farmer had 17 of his 18 calves stolen.

Mr Joyce said stopping the perpertrators of such crimes is “in all of our interests”.

“There are people who know where these cattle are going and this has to be treated very seriously. We welcome this campaign and hope to see it yield results,” he said.

Crimestoppers, an anonymous and free means to report crime, has proven to be very successful in gathering information to assist investigations in the past in both urban and rural Ireland, according to its chairperson Tim Dalton.

“We hope this campaign will prove similarly successful in tackling livestock theft,” he said.

Asssistant Garda Commissioner, Derek Byrne, said the campaign is asking members of the farming community in particular to report suspicious activity around farms in their locality either through An Garda Siochana or through the confidential Crimestoppers number.

Contact Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25.

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