'Sleep with your eyes open'... Minister urges farmers to look out for animal thieves


December 22, 2016
File More than 35 goats were stolen from a farm in St James on Sunday.

Minister urges farmers to look out for animal thieves

The nation's farmers are being urged not to sleep too soundly this Christmas because criminals are on the prowl seeking to steal their animals.

"I am suggesting to all the farmers, they have to be alert, especially at nights. They have to make sure that they don't sleep so soundly, and to make sure that their houses are secured," J.C. Hutchinson, minister without portfolio in the agriculture ministry, said.

Hutchinson stressed the need for security by stating that he has been told that criminals have been blowing substances such as chloroform into houses, which puts the occupants into a deep sleep.

"I am saying, make sure that your house is secure and make sure that you are alert to anybody who might be on the compound to protect your animals, which might be in close proximity to where your house is located," the minister said.

The police on Tuesday urged farmers to take the necessary measures to secure their livestock. Among the actions that are encouraged is the building of fences and removal of animals from roadsides.

The carcasses of seven goats were found on a bathroom floor in St Elizabeth on Tuesday; the police believe the goats were stolen.

The police said there has been a significant spike in the larceny of goats and pigs across the island over the past two weeks.

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