Rustling gangs are 'coaching' livestock with feed
Organised crime gangs are routinely 'coaching' animals with feed long before their planned raids, according to the IFA.
Crime prevention officer Colin Connolly said that thieves often hand-fed targeted animals during the days and weeks in the run-up to a raid.
"Many farmers that have been victims of livestock rustling comment afterwards that their stock seemed to be 'off' or scattered around the field when they were feeding them in the days before the incident," he said.
The former garda also said that the number of raids were under-reported due to a fear of paramilitary involvement.
"Even though we associate organised crime with drugs and gun running, most livestock rustling is run by organised crime, and they should be targeted by the likes of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB)," he said.
Mr Connolly believes that if better data was available on the actual level of farm crime it would convince gardai to allocate more resources to tackling the issue.
Statistics from the CSO show that close to 30,000 farm related crimes have been reported since 2010.
The most common incidents are thefts from farm yards, with over 2,000 incidents being reported every year since 2010. The next most common occurrence is theft from outhouses or sheds, followed by burglary.