• Hannah Phillips

Stock Theft Targeted in New Training Package


SA Police are launching a training package for police officers in the country and small stations across the state to assist in the prevention of stock theft.


SA Police introduced Operation Poach in 2011 to help address the issue, while acknowledging that stock theft has a large impact on livestock producers.

In the last financial year, reported stock theft was estimated at close to $1 million in SA, however, since Operation Poach was introduced there has been a general decline in reported theft.

Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier said this training package, along with relationships with other key stakeholder agencies such as PIRSA, was vital in helping rural property owners and managers protect their property.

Police have a range of crime prevention information available online, including a Rural Security Booklet which provides a valuable security checklist.

It can be downloaded here.

Police crime prevention advice around Livestock includes:

  • All livestock should be marked with approved permanent identifiers such as earmarks, brands, tattoos and National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) devices upon receipt or as soon after birth as practicable. Contact Biosecurity SA for advice on registering brands and earmarks on 1800 654 688.

  • All cattle must be identified with an approved permanent identifier (NLIS device) before leaving any property or before entering South Australia from another state and be accompanied by a correctly completed movement document. Producers should check that all NLIS devices are still present before each movement commences and replace any that are lost. In addition, all movements of cattle, including those between properties with a different Property Identification Code (PIC), must be individually recorded on the NLIS Database.

  • All sheep and goats must be identified with an approved permanent identifier (NLIS ear tag) before leaving the property of birth or dispatch and must be accompanied by a correctly completed movement document. Relevant information about the movements of sheep and goats must be recorded and retained for seven years by the person who consigned the stock and by the person who has bought or received the stock. In addition all movements of sheep and goats must be recorded as a mob-based movement on the NLIS database.

  • Cattle, sheep, and goats must be accompanied by an approved movement document when transported by vehicle (road, rail, water or air) from their current location to another. The National Vendor Declaration (NVD) is the preferred document, but there are alternative movement waybills available on the PIRSA website that are suitable for non-transaction type movements in particular.

  • Missing NLIS devices should be reported to police as soon as possible. Missing cattle can be recorded on the NLIS database, contact 1800 683 111 for advice on how to do this.

  • Livestock should be regularly checked to ensure that suspected losses are recognised and reported to police as soon as possible.

  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of individual stock identification numbers and stock totals including purchases, sales, deaths and rations.

  • Valuable stock should be photographed or videoed.

  • Stock should not be left in yards or holding paddocks adjacent to stockyards unless they are in sight of the home.

  • Stock handling facilities (yards and race) should be kept locked and regularly checked for signs of unexplained activity (damaged gates, fresh manure and hoof marks).

  • Dogs are aware, often before their owners, of the presence of strangers around the farm residence and nearby buildings. Regardless of whether dogs are kept as working animals or as pets, they may act as a deterrent to intruders.


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