Positive steps towards tackling stock theft
June 13, 2017
Federated Farmers is delighted to see the Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill being drawn from the ballot to go before Parliament.
Livestock theft is not only a financial burden to farming businesses but also a risk to people’s safety. Farmers are often alone when confronting stock thieves.
"It’s frightening when you are faced with someone in a remote rural area who is most likely armed. The successful passing of this bill would show the victims of livestock rustling that the justice system is prepared to take these crimes seriously," says Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers' Rural Security Spokesperson.
It is estimated that livestock rustling costs the farming community over $120 million a year. The bill is intended to deter people from engaging in livestock theft by identifying it as an aggravating factor at sentencing.
"Federated Farmers would like to see harsher penalties for crimes such as stock theft, including the threat of losing vehicles and equipment used in the crime as is the case with fisheries prosecutions," says Rick.
The bill partners well with the Police announcement that 177 new frontline staff will be posted around New Zealand over the next 12 months, and 880 sworn staff over the next four years. These additional officers will see an increase in 24/7 policing in rural areas.