Thieves stole over 20 calves between February and April
By Diego Flammini
The Southern Alberta RCMP’s livestock division is asking the public to help identify those responsible for a string of cattle thefts.
Between Feb. 19 and Apr. 22, thieves stole a total of 26 cows from farms in Cardston and Picture Butte, Alta. and from the Blood Tribe First Nations reserve.
The thieves appear to be targeting young calves.
“In all of the instances, the calves were young animals still nursing and there is no indication that they were taken by animal predators,” Cpl. Curtis Peters said in a statement yesterday. “It is unclear at this point whether or not (the thefts) were committed by the same (people).”
Producers have reported four separate cases of cattle thefts.
On Feb. 19, a farmer in Picture Butte alerted the RCMP that he’d lost 17 calves over the course of one month. Tire tracks and unlocked gates at the farm suggest the act was deliberate, the RCMP said.
The RCMP received reports of stolen cattle from Cardston on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1. Thieves stole three calves and investigators found tire tracks in one of the fields.
And a producer from the Blood Tribe reserve reported six calves missing on Sunday.
Unfortunately, farmers don’t have many options to prevent calf thefts, according to Craig Paskal, feedlot operations manager at VRP Farms in Picture Butte.
“Most of the time you’re only talking about barbed wire fences surrounding these pastures, so it would be difficult to have complete security,” he told Farms.com today. “And the animals that are being stolen might weigh between 100 and 200 pounds, so a few people could just lift the calf up and take it away.”
The RCMP asks anyone with information about the string of calf thefts to call 403-420-4972, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave tips online.
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