Safety tips

  • Check all fences and gates regularly and maintain them to protect stock.
  • Appoint a trained worker to patrol the fences daily. He must also ensure that holes in and underneath fences are repaired immediately. Inspect these repairs yourself.
  • Always lock up loading ramps in camps or places on the farm where there is no direct supervision, or see to it that they are out of sight.
  • If you consider buying an additional farm it is better if it is near the farm you are living on. Remember – stay close to your property if you don’t want losses.
  • Ensure that stolen stock cannot be hidden on your farm. Cattle posts are an ideal overnight place to hide stolen stock. If you notice strange animals at a cattle post, report it to the SAPS immediately.
  • Personally count your stock at cattle posts at least once a week.
  • If workers at cattle posts have their own animals too, it is best to mix the animals and let them graze together. This is a good preventative measure, particularly if you suspect that workers are involved in incidents of stock theft.
  • Be particularly alert during the full moon, weekends and the beginning or end of a month, or during times that you know from own experience when stock theft is likely to occur (especially slaughtering for the pot).
  • Report strange animals among your own to the SAPS and your neighbours immediately.
  • Report all incidents of stock theft on your land immediately. The longer the delay, the smaller the probability of successful prosecution.
  • inspectIt is important to round up and count animals regularly. If not possible every day, try to do stock counts at least twice a week and do so on random days. Avoid routine, especially at cattle posts, because workers may well be informants to stock thieves. Fewer stock or signs that indicate possible stock theft must be reported immediately. Personally count your own animals. Do not leave the counting or reporting of complaints to workers.
  • When new people apply for work, enquire from previous employers about the real reason for termination/desertion of service. Also enquire from the SAPS to determine whether the applicant has a criminal record and if so, the nature of such record.
  • Train your workers to watch out for irregularities. Remind workers to be cautious of what they say in front of strangers about activities on the farm. Information may land in the hands of stock thieves in this way.
  • Inform the stock theft unit when speculators and buyers of hides and bones or stock traders from neighbouring countries work in the area. Keep a detailed record of all prospective stock traders as soon as they start negotiations.
  • An extensive stock register is crucial. Write down as much detail as possible and keep the register updated personally.
  • Do not allow loitering on the farm or allow unemployed people to stay on the farm. Strangers on the farm or visitors of workers must get permission first from the farmer. Implement a control system for visitors; note down all details of visitors to the farm, who they are visiting and when they are leaving.
  • If your farm is on the country’s borders, do not get involved in illegal deals with citizens of neighbouring countries, for example to lease your grazing camps. If you do not follow the correct procedure, it could create an ideal environment for stock theft and other offences.
  • Stock theft cases are often scrapped due to lack of interest; some complainants also do not want to attend the court proceedings. Take an interest in solved cases and attend all court cases.
  • Work with the local SAPS and stock theft unit, not against them. Support them in all their efforts to help you.