Study targets cattle stealing
CQUNIVERSITY researchers are calling on producers to participate in a research program testing smart sensor technology as a means of preventing and detecting stock theft.
In collaboration with AgForce, the research project is aimed at developing a new livestock monitoring system that can be used by landholders and law enforcement agencies to remotely monitor animals.
The 2001/2002 National Farm Crime Survey found livestock theft was the most commonly reported rural crime, affecting 6% of farms, with an estimated annual cost of $16 million.
However, most incidents (65%) went unreported and the true cost was likely to be closer to $67 million a year.
Project leader Associate Professor Mark Trotter said stock theft ranged from small numbers through to organised operations where entire herds were mustered and stolen, but the one common factor was the farmer’s inability to monitor livestock locations and behaviour.
CQUniversity’s Precision Livestock Management team is recognised as a national leader in the use of sensor technologies to enhance animal production.
Dr Trotter will collaborate with Professor Steve Moore, from CQUniversity’s School of Engineering and Technology, in adapting sensors for use on livestock, and with Dr Stuart Charters, of New Zealand’s Lincoln University, an expert in data management.
“One of the limitations of the National Livestock Identification System is that the location of an animal is only sporadically known when the tags are checked when livestock are bought, sold or moved along the production chain – animal data cannot be accessed remotely or in real time,” Dr Trotter said.
“We have designed a generic animal sensing platform with GPS location to monitor animal movement that we will test in stock theft simulations at AgForce’s Belmont Research Station.”
CQUniversity will be hosting a workshop with producers directly affected by stock theft to gain insights into the types of behaviour, both criminal and animal, that could be recorded during stock theft.
For more information on the producer workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
REDUCE CRIME: Associate Professor Mark Trotter is calling on producers for a stock theft study.