Federated Farmers thanks the Justice Minister Andrew Little
Federated Farmers thanks the Justice Minister Andrew Little over his quick moves to protect farmers from livestock rustlers.
The introduction of a supplementary order paper (SOP) on the Crimes Amendment Bill is a win for all farmers, says rural security spokesperson Miles Anderson.
The two new offences of theft of livestock or other animal, and unlawful entry to land used for agricultural purposes, will give power back to farmers, the police and the judiciary when it comes to dealing with offenders, he says.
"The credit for this work goes to many.
"First of all, a thank you to my predecessor Rick Powdrell. A huge amount of work from Rick went into getting rustlers viewed as a serious threat to rural communities. And to National’s Ian McKelvie and Labour’s Kieran McAnulty - thank you for listening to your constituents. Full marks to Parliament and the Primary Production Committee."
Miles says what was originally proposed through the Livestock Rustling Amendment Bill had not gone far enough to discourage livestock theft.
"This SOP now delivers on what we asked for."
The cost of livestock theft to the farming community is incredibly daunting and can kill a business.
Rustling ranges from the basic opportunist to highly organised professional operations. Farmers currently feel powerless to counter livestock theft. Now that the legislation is coming into force to effectively punish these criminals, it would be good to see the rural police resources to back it, says Miles.
"And to the farming public. We need to get our reporting up on stock rustling, so the police can act. I understand it can be daunting to report criminals, especially when it comes to organised crime, but please note the police have several ways you can log a concern including anonymously. As with all rural crime, if you see something, say something."