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Newry and Armagh ‘hot-spot’ as shocking extent of cattle thefts revealed

UUP leader calls for fresh ideas to help stop thieves

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Over 10,000 cattle have gone missing or been stolen across Northern Ireland in the past three years.

And, while some will be accounted for as having actually been lost, the vast majority are reported as stolen.

The ‘hot-spot’ for this criminal free-for-all remains in the Newry and Armagh constituency.

More than one in three of every animal which has gone missing or been stolen is in this border constituency.

In total, 10,018 cattle have disappeared over that three year period.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann has called for even more action to target rural crime such as this to stop quality cattle being lifted under the cover of darkness and to see those responsible put behind bars.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann

 

He insists the majority of those involved are linked to criminal gangs and cattle are being smuggled across the border into factories after their identification has been changed.

Mr Swann said the PSNI could not patrol every road at night meaning cattle theft was still going largely undetected and new ideas were needed to combat it.

He has called for action to target factories in the Republic which are accepting cattle lifted from Northern Ireland, and believes voluntary DNA recording and testing should be actively encouraged in border areas so cattle can always be traced back.

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