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Rustling needs to be a specific offence

30 June 2014

Rustling needs to be a specific offence

Federated Farmers is asking political parties to develop policies to tackle the scourge of stock theft better known as rustling.

“We know stock theft or rustling has been estimated to cost the farming community some $120 million each year,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen a lifestyler raided for breeding ewes in Waikato and over 200 sheep despicably shot in Otago.

“We’ve got to ask if the penalties imposed are serious enough to be a deterrent for either rustling or poaching. Based on our experience to date they are not.

“While Federated Farmers is developing the Farmer’s Manifesto for the 2014 General Election, we are calling on political parties to develop specific rustling policies.

“The one party that has released one is Act and their proposed policy is summarised below.

"In the meantime, farmers can provide information anonymously through the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111. In addition to online tools like ‘Stop Stock Theft,’ farmers need to work together to report crimes and record suspicious behaviour.

“We need political parties to take this seriously because in many instances weapons are being used. We would welcome parties to engage with us because the level of violence is appalling,” Mrs Milne concluded.

Act Party policy summary on Stock Theft. What are the other parties proposing?
• Legislate to introduce confiscation of vehicles and equipment used in offences, consistent with rules under the Fisheries Act for excess or illegal seafood catch
• Increase maximum jail terms from three months to two years for stock valued up to $500, from one year to three years for stock valued from $500-$1000 and to 10 years for stock valued at more than $1000
• Introduce an offence of aggravated stock theft, with a jail term of 14 years, where a firearm, knife, or other weapon was present. That is in line with aggravated burglary, which carries a 14-year maximum jail term where a weapon is present
• Revoke firearms licences for a minimum five years for those convicted of aggravated stock theft with a firearm.

A fundraiser is being organised for the Stackhouse’s who had over 200 sheep shot on their Otago property:

Date: Monday, 7 July (following the sales)
Venue: Waiareka sale yards, North Otago
Details: Deliver ewes or lambs on the morning of the sale or if this is not possible, please contact Greg Ruddenklau on (03) 432 4006 or 027 429 6179 to organise a pick up.

The fundraising account for cash donations is:

Westpac: 03 0937 0071238 00
Account: Rural Women NZ North Otago
Reference number: “Farm Stock”

ENDS

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