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Six tips to keep livestock safe from theft

Livestock theft is a serious issue that affects farmers in many parts of the world, especially in South Africa.

It not only results in an estimated financial loss of up to R3 billion per year, but severely threatens the physical security of farmers and their loved ones.

To protect your livestock from theft, it’s important to take proactive steps to secure both your property and your animals.

The following six tips can help:

1. Implement a good security system: Protect your property with a security system that includes cameras, infrared systems, alarms or motion sensors to help you monitor your property closely and alert you to any suspicious activity. This can help deter potential thieves, as well as provide evidence in case of theft. 

2.  Use identification methods: Properly marking and tagging your livestock with accepted identification methods such as ear tags, tattoos, and microchips can help you track and identify your animals in case of theft. This can help you recover stolen animals and also provide evidence of your ownership to authorities if thieves are caught with your livestock.

3. Establish good relationships with neighbours and workers: Building a good relationship with your neighbors and other members of the community is essential to keeping your animals and your farm safe. Notifying a neighbour of suspicious behaviour on their property is one of the most effective methods of preventing theft. Workers are also more tuned into goings-on on a farm, whether it be rumours of possible theft, or even seeing markers thieves leave on the farms before attacks. A good relationship with them allows them to be comfortable enough to approach you with such information.

4.  Educate yourself on local laws and regulations: Livestock theft is underreported by up to 70%. Familiarise yourself with local laws and regulations regarding livestock theft, as well as the procedures for reporting and resolving theft cases. This can help you take the appropriate action in case it happens to you. Additionally, knowing local laws and regulations can help you take steps to ensure that your livestock is properly marked and tagged.

5.  Join local farmer’s associations or crime prevention forums: These groups can be useful for sharing information and receiving tips about preventing theft. They can also provide a support network for farmers and ranchers who have experienced theft. Joining these groups can also provide access to resources and experts who can help you protect your property and your animals.

6. Use GPS collars for monitoring livestock:Smart farming with advanced GPS tracking such as FarmRanger’s livestock security collars are designed to provide real-time tracking of your animals during an alarm, and alert you when they are behaving abnormally during predator attacks or theft attempts, all from an easy to use smartphone app.

Implementing a good security system, using identification methods, building good relationships with neighbors, educating yourself on local laws and regulations, and joining local farmer’s association or crime prevention forums are all important steps to take to protect your livestock from theft. Adding the usage of advanced technology such as GPS collars allows for a crucial extra layer of security, which may ultimately prove to be the most successful tool of all. 



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