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Cattle farmers lose $60 million to praedial thieves in 2005

29 January 2007

JAMAICA - Sector wants stiffer penalties for 'highly organised' crime

President of the Beef and Dairy Producers Association of Jamaica Limited (BDPAJ) Robin Crum Ewing says cattle farmers lost $60 million to praedial larceny in 2005. But that figure is expected to increase significantly when last year's tally has been analysed.

According to Crum Ewing, cattle theft poses the greatest challenge to the revival or survival of the industry as farmers are now being forced to dig deep into their pockets to pay extra for security on their farms.

"Cattle theft is a major threat to the revitalisation of the local beef and dairy sub-sectors, because it is driving farmers out of cattle farming and acting as a disincentive to potential investors," he said. Crum Ewing told the Sunday Observer that individual farmers have reported security costs as high as $120,000 per month.

"A major farm lost 12 heads of cattle in 2006, compared to 85 in 2005, a reduction of 73 at a value of $2 million. However, the farmer incurred additional security cost in excess of $2 million," he explained. In addition, he said the loss of otherwise productive breeding stock affects future revenue streams.

Crum Ewing and his fellow cattle farmers are convinced that cattle theft is highly organised, as success, they argue, relies on collusion between persons proficient in butchery, transport providers and commercial operators with refrigerated capacity to bulk store carcasses

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Source: The Jamaica Observer


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