By S. Param [Letter to the Editor\
Cattle rustlers are getting bolder and sophisticated. There has been a marked increase in cattle thefts. Rearers, especially small-time poor farmers, are crying for help from the police and Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to do something to safeguard their livelihood and prevent their livestock from being stolen.
The latest brazen cattle theft was highlighted on the front page of a local Tamil daily on Dec 23, involving several heads of dairy cattle worth hundreds of thousands of ringgit.
Several people wearing masks stormed the cattle farm and carted away the animals in a lorry. About two weeks ago, another farmer reported that his cattle were herded away by parang-wielding men at an estate after overpowering farm workers.
Looking at the modus operandi of these cattle rustlers, it appears that they are receiving inside help and are well-connected.
A well-organised syndicate must be behind the spate of cattle and other livestock thefts. The rustlers know what they are doing and they are slick in disposing the animals.
There seems to be a great demand for stolen cattle in the black market. The animals may have been sold to other farmers or killed in an illegal slaughter house.
I suspect, in view of the high price of local beef, that many of these stolen animals end up as meat in the market.
Live animals can easily be identified and I doubt that these animals are sold to other livestock farmers.
To avoid being traced, the syndicates must have a team to slaughter the animals and distribute the meat to "marketing agents" to be sold at markets or to restaurants. More....