The Society has received reports of Wagyu stock theft. While the outbreak of foot and mouth remain on the forefront of discussions. It is important to stay aware of any risks that farmers may be vulnerable too. The latest stock theft statistics has shown a decrease of 5.75% in nationally reported cases. With a decrease of 5.67% in reported stolen cattle. The same report also states that the value of stolen livestock has increased by 11%. This translates to an economic loss of R909 427 107. It also worthy to note that 80% of stock theft cases are not reported. An article by TLU states that while the number of reported cases may have decreased. This could indicate that a larger number of livestock may be stolen at a time which may point to larger organised crime operations. Leading to less reported stock theft cases while stolen livestock numbers are still increasing.
In cases of stock theft, just as with disease prevention, the best defence is a good offence. Some practical guidelines include:
- Report all cases of stock theft (even unsuccessful attempts) and follow up on a regular basis
- Join your local Stock Theft Information Centre
- Attend monthly Rural Security meetings with SAPS and make sure that the issue of stock theft is on the agenda
- Make friends with the people in your community and join community forums
- Make sure your own documentation is in order when transporting stock (Complying to Article 6 & 8).
- Make sure you’re branding and tattooing your stock in the right manner
- Be careful at local auctions
- Keep farm gates and fences well maintained. Continuously monitor all entry points onto the farm
Stock theft is a pressing issue for the South African farmer. And is another example of how Wagyu is leading from the front. With the implementation of the Certified Wagyu Beef protocol and its comprehensive traceability system. The CWB protocol supports anti-stock theft principles through requirements such as:
- Ensuring that your cattle are properly tagged and correctly identified with the required Wagyu eartag & RFID tag
- DNA verification of calves. Allows for a DNA database to which stolen cattle can be profile matched
- Notifying the Society of all stock movements (stock to be sold or moved to feedlot and/or abattoir)
The RPO has released a manual for the prevention of stock theft. The manual can be downloaded by following the link https://rpo.co.za/manual-for-the-prevention-of-stock-theft/