GARDAÍ in West Cork have issued a warning to farmers to be vigilant after three instances of calves being stolen from farmlands or farmyards in the area between Schull and Skibbereen.
In the first instance, which occurred between 11pm on March 10th and 9am on March 11th, three calves were stolen in the townland of Lisheenacreagh, Ballydehob.
Just under a fortnight later, sometime between midnight on March 24th and midnight on March 26th, a Limousin calf was taken from farmland at Skeagh, Skibbereen.
The third incident took place at Gubbeen, Schull, between 11am on March 30th and 11am on March 31st, when two Friesian calves were stolen.
Crime prevention officer for West Cork, Sgt Ian O’Callaghan, said there had been a slight delay in some of the reporting of incidents, as farmers may have thought the animals had wandered.
However, the fact that three of these unusual incidents occurred in the same general area, within days of each other, would lead the gardaí to believe there is a likely connection.
‘We haven’t seen this type of crime for many years, so we would ask farmers to be vigilant, in case there is a trend in operation. We would encourage them to check their farmland and farmyard access points and gates, and ensure they are robust,’ he said.
He added that, where possible, farmers should employ CCTV in their farmyards and other external areas. ‘Farmers already use CCTV for calving, but we would also encourage them to use it for external areas, too,’ he said.
Sgt O’Callaghan said that all members of the public should be vigilant, in fact, as any reports of unusual activity around farm access points should be reported to gardaí. Furthermore, any sightings of cattle trailers being used late at night should be checked, as this would be considered unusual, she advised.