Mackenzie sheep ‘stolen for a particular market’

Press Release – Federated Farmers

The Maori Party has campaigned, long and hard, for a system of Government which is cost–effective; transparent and accountability. We want to be clear from the outset. Our focus has always been that we want to see more community services and less government …MEDIA RELEASE
4 October 2011

Mackenzie sheep ‘stolen for a particular market’

The manager of Ribbonwood Station at Omarama has requested all media inquiries relating to the theft of 200 pregnant ewes, be directed to Federated Farmers.

“I would ask the media to please speak with Federated Farmers,” said the manager of Ribbonwood Station.

“I can confirm we have laid a complaint with the Police regarding this theft. It’s a major financial blow.

“On 26 August we undertook a stock count but by 15 September, when we’d brought our sheep in for pre-lamb shearing, we’d lost 200 ewes.

“Speaking to neighbouring farmers, it seems around 600 stock have been stolen over the past three years. That’s concerning,” the manager said.

Federated Farmers believes the resources needed to steal 200 in-lamb ewes, around two percent of the sheep run on Ribbonwood Station, indicates a degree of sophistication.

“Stock are clearly being stolen for a particular market given they’re in-lamb ewes. I would remind farmers to only use reputable suppliers when purchasing stock,” commented Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“The number of ewes stolen needed a stock truck, musterers and dogs. You are talking about a sizeable and sophisticated operation.

“It underscores why our rural security spokesperson, David Rose, is currently finalising a letter of agreement with the Police.

“Yet the Police need help from those who live in rural areas. We’re asking people to be extra vigilant because these stock will have been moved somewhere. If merino ewes appear on a block, as if from nowhere, it may well be worth calling you local Police.

“If stock are legitimate, there will be a paper trail. We’d also ask farmers to keep an eye out for unknown stock agents offering capital stock.

“For farmers concerned about theft please work with your neighbours. Record license plate numbers or take photographs of people or vehicles acting suspiciously.

“Above all, we need farmers to do what Ribbonwood Station did and that’s to report stock theft to the Police. This helps the Police assess the scale of the problem because stock theft is a serious crime.

“Federated Farmers is working with the Police to improve rural security because we all need to work together to combat rural crime,” Mrs Maxwell concluded.


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