Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Stock theft cases shoot up 46 p.c.

Stock theft cases shoot up 46 p.c. 

Tabitha Mutenga Staff Reporter 

STOCK theft cases continue to increase, according to a report that indicates a 46 percent increase from 738 cases in 2017 to 1 079 as of March 2018. 

The Livestock Update Report released by Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) shows that the number of cattle stolen also increased by 20 percent from 1 069 in 2017 to 1281 in 2018. 

“From November 2017 to January 2018, reduced police presence on the country’s or roads has coincided with the increased incidence of movement of stolen livestock. The Zimbabwe Republic Police Anti Stock theft Unit has activated a number of strategies aimed at countering the increase in stock theft the report said. 

Government has set stiffer penalties for stock theft and anyone found guilty of stealing an animal will serves between nine and 25 years in prison. 

From the statistics, the recovery rate for 2018 is 29 percent while in 2017 it was 32 percent. At least 370 cattle were recovered this year. 

In an effort to track the movement of cattle the Veterinary Services Department is piloti­ng the Livestock Identification and Traceability System, a plastic chip inserted in the ear of an animal capable of storing electronic data and linked to a server. 

The system enables a user to establish the movement, ownership and health history of animal as well as its location at any time. The system is also expected to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, which has become a perennial challenge to the sector. The illegal movement of cattle and corrupt government officials have been blamed for aggravating the situation. 

“Indiscipline by market players are reported to behind the rapid spread of foot-and-mouth as little heed to movement restrictions is being taken by market players who are prioritising trade over disease control,” the report said. 

Zimbabwe suspended all beef exports to European Union in 2001 after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the main cattle producing southern parts of the country. The ban is yet to be lifted. 

The EU was Zimbabwe’s main beef market, with which it had an agreement for an annual export quota of 5 500 tonnes. 

The country’s national herd has declined due to a number of challenges such as stock theft, drought and disease outbreaks. The herd size fell from 6,8 million cattle in 2006 with an annual slaughter of 650 000 to an annual slaughter of 300 000 from 5,4 million cattle [email protected]


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