Tack­ling stock theft

Shepparton News - Country News - - OPINION -

A rise in stock theft is the last straw for po­lice in ru­ral South Aus­tralia.

More than 100 in­ci­dents were re­ported in the past fi­nan­cial year, cost­ing farm­ers an es­ti­mated $1 mil­lion.

Op­er­a­tion Poach, orig­i­nally launched in 2011, will be given in­creased pow­ers with more of­fi­cers trained to pro­tect live­stock.

The state’s beef and sheep pro­duc­tion in­dus­try is worth about $3.3 bil­lion a year and Po­lice Min­is­ter Pete Malin­auskas says he wants to be proac­tive in con­trol­ling these crimes.

‘‘While we have seen stock thefts fall on the whole, these crimes have hit an up­wards trend in the past two years,’’ Mr Malin­auskas said.

‘‘We hope this new col­lab­o­ra­tive train­ing will see SA Po­lice’s team of live­stock in­spec­tors grow, mean­ing less farm­ers are suf­fer­ing the eco­nomic loss and hard­ship of live­stock theft.’’

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