NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Stolen Goats!  (Read 759 times)

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 06:22:54 pm »
I feel your pain.  I also regularly see on the local police pages on social media details of vehicles stolen in the area - pushbikes, cars etc.  Rarely do I see listings for livestock stolen even though I know in my area it's been a problem for a number of years.  Usually sheepdogs and sheep.  It always seems to be the owners, friends of the owners or farmers unions that do the publicity.  It's a national disgrace.  And yes the police have constrained resources, but if they have time to look for a stolen car, they have time to look for a stolen horse, dog or goat in my opinion.  Animals are sentient beings that feel pain, fear and separation anxiety in some cases... if I lost my computer, car or phone I'd be upset but that would pale into insignificance if I lost a loved one.  It's one reason I opted to identichip all of my animals.  They may cut out the tags but the chips are there for life unless they are surgically removed and that would leave scars or kill the animals concerned.  At least dead, they would be beyond pain and suffering which is small mercy I know.

I hope that yours have been taken by the usual suspects, transported to their next location and sold on.  That way you have a chance of getting them back if we all look out for them. 

This is a really slim chance but it may be worth contacting your local trading standards team to explain the situation and ask if there are any "known characters" that were recently in the area and have moved on.  If so, it may be worth asking if they know where they're likely to have gone (if they're following standard routes or there are connections with other TS teams who will pick up the calls in the next area).  Be careful not to accuse anyone, but just say that if there's any chance that they may have "accidentally found them straying and picked them up to transport them to safety" you would appreciate any information that could point you in the direction of where safety and new homes may be.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.
Voss Electric Fence

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 10:39:54 pm »
Thanks Scarlet - I am confused as to who the local trading standards are..I only know this reference when it comes to like trading standards for business, like buying a car, or what businesses must do to adhere to trading standards.  I am not sure of an entity for livestock. Doesn't mean one doesn't exist - I just don't know what that could be or what to search for. Can you give me an example of one in your area - then it might help me to name this unknown in mine.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2019, 07:34:44 am »
Yes, I mean the Trading standards that deal with businesses and more to the point, complaints about "doorstep traders" who often con people into having roof repairs that aren't needed or resurface drives with sub-standard tarmac.  The nature of their business involves moving around the country and it's not unheard of for livestock to go missing at the same time as they move on.  I think it's normally part of the Consumer Protection team of your local council.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2019, 11:21:51 am »
I will try that.

Is there nothing we - the larger livestock, maybe pet - audience can do? We're not being supported, though at the very least we had a robbery - same as anyone who has been robbed of items. But as these are lives we, at least we and some others who have had pets taken, love. What happens if it's a dog lost are they better supported than livestock? What is the algorithm used that gets a crime addressed?

Also, why doesn't DEFRA or some agency within the livestock bureaucracy we all do to get CPH, movement forms, tagging, designate the land...I don't know. But whilst the tags will be removed, I think they should have a line to have stolen livestock reported, then be able to send out notices to people to let them know a thief is in the area and to be alert, take extra measures. It won't save all - but maybe some? They could also alert the police (and yes I know this is a real stretch of the imagination) but ask police to be aware of suspicious vans in rural areas. Look out for large vehicles carrying livestock and stop them and ask for their movement forms and proof.

I think there are things that can be done. I am sure many in this area of livestock and/or pets would have even more than I do to have suggestions and solutions.

Could we canvass at least the UK to say how we think this could be made safer with the agencies that could be doing more? Sorry if that's naive or it's a been there/done that sort of thing. But it's worth asking, and maybe it's worth pushing harder?

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2019, 06:00:26 pm »
There is the "Farm Watch" scheme in some areas - rural equivalent to neighbourhood watch and I also recently saw a post by "The Farmers Union" on FB a day or two ago that was saying much the same thing, though as I'm not a member of the group I now can't find it to share the link with you.  From what I can see the group is only open to commercial farmers rather than smallholders and hobby crofters so not sure that one would work for those with pets that got stolen. 

www.doglost.co.uk is open to all animals and I've seen adverts where farmers have lost significant numbers of sheep, for example, listed.  However it seems that in some locations, farmers may be losing entire lorry loads at a time!  It just goes to show the identifying tags are not fit for purpose.  It's fair enough to say that one or two red tags can be passed off in a batch that are being sold on, but how many sheep would someone need to have in order to hide a couple of hundred unlawful acquisitions?  If they're not going to other farmers then logically they have to be going to black market slaughter - is the trade really on that scale?
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2019, 07:52:22 pm »
There is the "Farm Watch" scheme in some areas - rural equivalent to neighbourhood watch and I also recently saw a post by "The Farmers Union" on FB a day or two ago that was saying much the same thing, though as I'm not a member of the group I now can't find it to share the link with you.  From what I can see the group is only open to commercial farmers rather than smallholders and hobby crofters so not sure that one would work for those with pets that got stolen. 

www.doglost.co.uk is open to all animals and I've seen adverts where farmers have lost significant numbers of sheep, for example, listed.  However it seems that in some locations, farmers may be losing entire lorry loads at a time!  It just goes to show the identifying tags are not fit for purpose.  It's fair enough to say that one or two red tags can be passed off in a batch that are being sold on, but how many sheep would someone need to have in order to hide a couple of hundred unlawful acquisitions?  If they're not going to other farmers then logically they have to be going to black market slaughter - is the trade really on that scale?
Yes, years ago a neighbor was heavily involved in rustling and illegal slaughter of sheep and supply of said carcasses to dealers in London as "smokies" on an enormous scale distance no object , Aberdeen shire to London. He was caught many times, ended up in prison, continued after his release in another location .
Have a read  http://www.moray.gov.uk/minutes/archive/EN20050420/convictionofJulianJones.PDF

valmet10

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2019, 08:15:21 pm »
saw this in whiaker  animal feeds yesterday , ive asked around everyone I know . if I hear owt will let you know

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2019, 08:40:09 pm »
I guess I am asking why this isn't a 'crime'? Wait, I do know it is a crime to steal - but it isn't a crime that police are following up on. It isn't one that DEFRA is warning other people in the vicinity of the theft.

So because it is livestock, there is - at least to me - a strange definition behind it. I am not sure how it works with pets dogs/cats but saw a facebook piece saying sign this to ask for jail sentence for this man who doused a cat in gasoline! Really, we have to sign a petition for this? Is this not common sense that this is a violent crime? Anyway I digress.

So if Morrison's has a major theft, it is a crime, one to be pursued. A farmer loses large number of livestock and it isn't? I am not a farmer so I don't know the answer to this but that sounds like what you're saying.

Now for me, or others like me, I am a pet owner. Not a farmer, and I am not putting one above the other - only that they are in fact different, though I think the police just put them as the same - livestock. But it is different - for the small holder, pet owner - this isn't a crime of income, it is a crime of loved ones. They also put this as less than a major crime of theft, not as high value.

So we had our home invaded - as this is the land attached to our home. Our pets which we love and someone possibly determined their fate for us - but this is not a criminal mind they should be concerned with? They are however concerned about someone growing marijuana & selling from their home. I don't know this for sure as I don't know anyone who's been caught (or anyone tat does tis at all!), or what the penalties are - so I may be speaking out of turn. Both are deviants as they are breaking the law, but one does it from their home and gives it to willing people, like those that drink or smoke. The other invades another's space, takes the lives of those they love and at the very least kidnaps them (no pun intended) or worse murders them. Which deviant criminal mind should you be pursuing? The one sounds far more dangerous to me - a person who will invade another's, be willing to designate their property - their lives as they see fit? I mean I realise that it's a grey area being that there are livestock killed, but also in shelters they kill cats or dogs. But to me, when you decide that fate you are - criminally speaking - the people who take children, or groom them. You have no respect for the home boundaries, both tangibly and emotionally.

So to me, and this is a big philosophical debate and bigger than me - I think that there is a different designation in the criminal system. That a criminal that can break into your property to take your pets, even if they are livestock and in some cases used for meat, kill them or kidnap them - this is a deviant mind that I think that they should be pursuing. And that only speaks to what they've done to the home owners, this doesn't even speak to the ills that befall the animals. This isn't considered a frightening person that maybe shouldn't be on the streets? They kill for fun, or they kill another's livestock (pets) because THEY decided it was ok? For us, we also had 2 heavily pregnant nannies - noticeably pregnant. Hunters even respect that to not hunt when it's birthing time and for ours tey were taken at a stressful time  would put tem in danger .

this in no way undermines the farmers, or puts that in a light of them being wrong to do what they do. They bought them, bred them and did so with that intent. But to have someone decide that for you, when I didn't - to me they are a mind worth taking seriously as a criminal. I'd suspect that it must take a different level of criminal to be able to do that.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 09:03:58 pm by New Riverside Farm »

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2019, 07:31:30 am »
I don't disagree with you.  In relation to the horses, as I recall, the law was explained to us as:
- if you can prove they cut the fence to get them out then you can have them for criminal damage to property but you can't have them for thieving the horses because they may have simply strayed after the fence was cut.  If they took the gate off its hinges then that's not criminal damage.
- if you have video footage of them taking the horses through the cut fence you still can't have them for theft of the horses and unless the footage also covers the cutting of the fence you can't have them for criminal damage... this is because they may not have been intending to keep the horses they may simply have been joyriding (note to self: how is this different from joyriding a car which is criminal???  Oh yes, because that requires a licence and insurance)!
- if you have a ransom demand from them for the animals, you can have them for attempted extortion but not theft because they may have found the animals straying and have secured them on your behalf.

The law is stacked against us on every level.  I understand the Metropolitan police has, for some years now, had an Equine Crime Unit that takes horse theft more seriously than the usual force.  However, we're a long way off being able to hang people for rustling livestock!!!

As an aside, yesterday I tried to report a hit and run on my car whilst it was parked... the police were loathe to take a statement on the basis that it was unlikely they would get anywhere.  I suggested there were CCTV cameras in the area that could be checked for cars damaged before and after the site, there was significant debris so the car would be obviously damaged and someone may have seen something.  I'm still waiting for a crime reference number which I've told them I need for my insurance claim.  I'll be using social media to appeal for witnesses as soon as I'm admitted as a member of the group for the location where the incident occurred.

Is it wrong to suggest that it looks bad for crime rates if crimes are reported but not solved so the solution is to not record the crimes unless there's a good chance of success?  In which case cars hold fingerprints, animals don't?
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2019, 09:57:16 am »
Well we even had possible fingerprints, I say possible as I don't know - but as our gates which are heras gates are quite fiddly would require more hands on them. We had a bolt in something which was pulled out and dropped on the ground. We had heras fence around the field which was lifted by the locked gate to throw off the balance enough, We had a lantern which was taken off and thrown down...all of these had the strong potential that they couldn't touch them with gloved hands and be able to do what they did but no fingerprints were taken. We plastic bagged all of them for the police. But they never saw them, they never saw the crime scene at all. They came here for the extortionist call but never saw our crime scene of the goats.

And as for the law, I'd love to say what they actually took. To say, money - whilst they did cost a sum, a sum we don't have to 'replace them' - is the least of our worries. It's our 1st year of kidding, we had two heavily pregnant nannies and I so looked forward to seeing their kids, what they'd look like, what they'd be like. To have a 1st year of them frolicking on the multi-story play area my husband just built for everyone, the one female we raised with her 2 sister and half sister and we can't look at them without seeing her (they weren't in plain site as they had just kidded so the thieves didn't know they existed) but the full sisters were so close and when we go out there - which is painful. She sits with us, and her kids and bleats to find her sister - a bleat that isn't answered back. We fear for their lives, and check them constantly - our hearts in our throats with each time we go out. I waited for years to finally get goats, we only got our 1st three in the summer of 2017. They sat on our laps, even as adults they still wanted to sit on our laps! they rub their heads against ours (which can be a bit hard when one has horns), they stand close to us when we're out with them, feel jealous if we pet and rub one. This isn't food based - we won't have any food on us, and they just wanted to sit with us, rub us, get attention, be jealous if another did. We waited till this autumn to kid them. We added a few also in the summer/autumn last year and looked forward to a Spring, a time of life blooming everywhere, a time of birth for our loved girls, a chance for me to try to milk (which I did for one week successfully with our 2 girls and I loved the experience) and our loved dream that was a life-time dream we couldn't see through till now. One of the other nannies and billies we only took on recently but they were only 7 months old - still tiny, still cute as anything. And that doesn't touch on the story of them all. I have 7 lives & futures, experiences to worry and/or grieve for.

Our other pets, since this suffer too. Our lives put on hold to search for animals, our enthusiasm naturally doused by fear and grief.

This is what the police have reduced down to a crime of property, low-value property, farm animals probably destined for this fate anyway - so all someone did was do it as we would have. But we weren't, we didn't - we looked forward to their life. We enjoyed their life, as one does a cat, a dog, and for some a family member. the thoughts I have at the fear and grief are what others have with family. I know because I've lost family too - just last year in fact I lost my father in September, so before anyone presumes to tell me I've no idea what I'm talking about, I do - far too well and far too recently. Did I know my father for longer, yes of course and it will be a different grief for that. But I also know that with loss, a father or a loved one - even a pet - it is the value you place on it, the experiences you had with it, the future you envisioned with it. How can society or police tell me, this isn't a crime of a person for me, that it's just the fodder for our (or someone else's) table, or they just stole my property and possibly will sell it on to another home, or keep them, themselves (and maybe just as well as us - really? just as well as us? If they did that, they wouldn't be the type of people to steal another's loved pet!)

I can't replace the goats, I can't replace the dream tainted by this, I can't take away the sadness of not seeing kids I looked forward to welcoming in to life soon, I can't take away the fear for their lives or the impact this has had...and I find it very difficult that society, or police, have determined for me what kind of crime this is, for me.

If this is down to statistics for them to look good, that's even more horrendous. You want to look good so you avoid pursuing and reporting the 1st incident, so the 2 happens? The 2nd, and now even more likely not easy to capture crime, goes into a system which is actually building itself. It is getting less likely to capture, and more likely to happen - because the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd aren't touched. Meanwhile - to some - this is a major crime, and it affects their life. So because this is a minor crime, in their estimation, one less likely to be solved, so not reported - am I supposed to somehow not love my pets, find distance from them because if I lose them to criminals I'll need to deal with it better? Ok, tell that to anyone with family, adding to them - don't get too close because if a crime happens, not much will be done so you'll need to prepare yourself for emotional distance should it happen? They may have to in the case of inevitable circumstances, but to tell them they have to because crime can and will happen, and not be pursued because of statistics? If fact because of those lack of pursuits due to statistics, you're more likely to be the victim of that crime - so even more need for said emotional distance?

I find it vile that we debate the crime of pets, people who do vile things to animals - like a guy to pours gasoline on a cat! And we're debating prison sentence? What kind of person do you think this is and do you really feel they are a safe person to be living next door to you, down the road, in the same town? I don't.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2019, 11:13:16 am »

I absolutely feel for you. For your loss of loved animals that were clearly part of your family and for your frustration.


Media posts seem to suggest that rural crime including theft of animals is on the increase. How we tackle that I'm not sure. There are some prosecutions. I think someone mentioned CCTV and it does make you wonder if we have all these cameras (isn't there a quote for how many times you are caught on camera a day?) why we can't make more use of them.

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2019, 11:30:32 am »
Harmony - Yes, I completely agree - why aren't these used for better purposes? Or however many other things are out there that could be used?

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2019, 05:33:55 pm »
[/b]
Yes, years ago a neighbor was heavily involved in rustling and illegal slaughter of sheep and supply of said carcasses to dealers in London as "smokies" on an enormous scale distance no object , Aberdeen shire to London. He was caught many times, ended up in prison, continued after his release in another location .
Have a read  http://www.moray.gov.uk/minutes/archive/EN20050420/convictionofJulianJones.PDF
[/quote]

Just read that... wow, just wow!  I wonder if that is still going on in the area and if so, what resources are devoted to it now?
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

New Riverside Farm

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2019, 06:39:43 pm »
It's disgusting to read that. And - whilst someone was prosecuting them - why isn't this really happening more? Honestly, apart from the human contamination - which if it is being fed to the slaughters or they are contaminated by it, I'd be pleased - but they are horrible to those animals. Why doesn't the government see this as disturbing as it is to me?

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Stolen Goats!
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2019, 09:16:12 pm »
[/b]
Yes, years ago a neighbor was heavily involved in rustling and illegal slaughter of sheep and supply of said carcasses to dealers in London as "smokies" on an enormous scale distance no object , Aberdeen shire to London. He was caught many times, ended up in prison, continued after his release in another location .
Have a read  http://www.moray.gov.uk/minutes/archive/EN20050420/convictionofJulianJones.PDF



Just read that... wow, just wow!  I wonder if that is still going on in the area and if so, what resources are devoted to it now?
[/quote]

It still goes on, difficult to police now ,it requires good intel before action is taken

 

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