Clarendon farmers suffering from praedial larceny
Cattle farmers in Clarendon have been grappling with praedial larcenists who make a full-time job of stealing animals.
Communities such as Race Course, Lionel Town, Race Track, and Rhymesbury have been plagued with thieves who now enter their premises armed to steal their life savings.
Most recently, armed thieves challenged the Clarendon police in a gun battle in York Town after they stole goats in Milk River. Two of the three men involved were caught. The other escaped in a cane field.
Venecia Smith, a cattle farmer from Race Track said that in June last year, thieves entered her yard and stole a cow valuing close to $100,000.
"They came back a few months later in October and took seven heads of goats. Dem almost clean out mi goat pen. Mi bawl six days straight," said the distraught farmer.
"They went into my neighbour's goat pen and killed five. They took the meat and left the heads, and when they were going, they took 15 with them," she said.
$1.5 MILLION LOSs
Ivore Cowan, a dairy farmer from Vernamfield said over the last eight years, he has lost a total of 18 heads of dairy cattle valued at approximately $1.5 million and 40 heads of goat valued at close to half million dollars.
"My colleagues have left the dairy business because they cannot afford to keep replacing the animals each time thieves steal them," Cowan said.