Farm Ireland

Saturday 21 April 2018

Cattle rustling figures are down after a spike in 2015

Pic Steve Humphreys
Pic Steve Humphreys
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

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.

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Meanwhile, the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) crime figures — released in December 2016 — show a 31pc decline in the number of burglaries nationwide since December 2015.

This figure is partly attributed to the success of Operation Thor — the Gardaí’s specialist operation designed to tackle criminal burglary gangs.

Overall, theft was down 15pc and robbery was also down 11pc. Overall, nine out of the 14 crime categories in the CSO classification showed a decrease.

Although some of Operation Thor’s most dramatic results occurred in the east, nationwide results last year were also significant.

 Last October, gardaí arrested 52 people in the Thomastown area of Kilkenny and near Tullow in Carlow.

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