Heifers reported stolen from midlands farm

A Westmeath farmer has reported heifers missing and presumed stolen from his farm last week.

The farmer, from Drumrarney, Co. Westmeath, discovered that three of his heifers were missing from a field. An Garda Siochana were notified, as fresh tracks were present at the scene.

The absence was noticed on Saturday, September 23; the animals had last been seen on Wednesday, September 20.

The heifers in question are one and a half years old – born in late January/February 2016 – and are described as being approximately 400kg. Two of the heifers are Aberdeen Angus crosses, while the third is a Hereford cross.

Of the Anguses, one is described as being particularly noticeable, with no ear tags – both ears are slit from where the tags had been torn. The other Angus was described as “a particularly quiet little heifer”.

Anyone with information is asked to contact either Athlone Garda Station on: 090-6492609 or Ballymore Garda Station on: 044-9356222.

‘The Good Old Days are gone’

The issue of rural crime was also a prominent theme during discussions at last week’s National Ploughing Championships.

Speaking to AgriLand during the three-day event, the ICSA’s (Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s) Rural Development Chairman Seamus Sherlock said: “It’s not the same Ireland as 60 years ago and rural people are frightened to leave their doors unlocked.

“The good old days are gone. We are now living in a country where you cannot leave your property unattended.”

Sherlock advised farmers to take responsibility when it comes to their own security. He stressed the importance of: adequate locks; CCTV where possible; and an entrance gate.

“If you’re protecting €10,000 worth of property, it makes sense to have a good lock and CCTV if you can afford it.

Every farmer should now have an entrance gate. If the entrance is open, people are going to drive in if you are not there.

An area which also warrants consideration, he said, is the availability of funding for a text alert scheme.