Cattle rustling figures are down after a spike in 2015
Almost 140 cattle have been stolen from farms nationwide since January last year, new figures reveal.
The official Department of Agriculture statistics show that 125 cattle were stolen between January and December 2016.
An additional 14 animals have been stolen so far this year.
The total cattle thefts for 2016 represent a 40pc decline on 2015 figures, when the number of nationwide cattle thefts hit a total of 209.
However, the 2015 figure included a large-scale theft of 75 cattle from a farm in Co Westmeath, which skewed that year’s figures.
Last year, farms in Ulster and Leinster experienced the most livestock thefts with a total of 41 animals lifted in Monaghan, 27 in Kildare and 13 taken in Wexford.
The figures show that fewer than 10 bovines were stolen from farms in Mayo, Laois, Galway, Sligo and Waterford.
No bovine thefts were recorded in Westmeath in 2016.