Jamaica’s police force has taken to Twitter to warn that the country’s agriculture sector is fighting a battle against rising theft of livestock, particularly goats and pigs – two of the country’s most-consumed meats.
The Jamaican Constabulary Force said it had recorded a big increase in livestock larceny over the past fortnight in a series of tweets published on Wednesday 21 December. The force did not disclose the level of the rise and could not be reached for further comment at the time of writing.
However, the force for the island nation of 2.7 million citizens warned people to “be careful” when buying meat over the festive period. It said meat stolen from farmers is often unsafe for consumption. Often, the force said, stolen meat is stored in unsanitary conditions and there was no guarantee the animal was either free of disease or not pregnant at the time of slaughter.
Tripwires and panic buttons
As such, consumers have been told to only buy meat from registered meat distribution outlets where facilitates are regularly inspected.
Jamaica’s head of the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit, deputy superintendent of police Kevin Francis, warned farmers on 7 December to take extra precaution over Christmas, with livestock theft expected to rise.
He said Jamaica Constabulary Force’s, which is leading the country’s anti-praedial larceny programme, has outlined safety tips for livestock farmers to curtail theft.
These measures include: the regular inspection of gating and fences to check for damage; installation of security cameras, tripwires and panic buttons; upgrading lighting to improve visibility and trimming trees and bushes to prevent “lurking”; clearly and uniquely marking animals to simplify identification; keeping livestock records up to date; and building partnerships with other farms to combat crime.