Cattle theft is on the rise near Springfield, Mo., so farmers and law enforcement are working with the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center to increase surveillance of area ranches.
New initiatives aim to scare away would-be cattle theives. The Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, local farmers and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office are working together to provide farmers with video surveillance cameras to protect their property. The center is also distributing signs to warn trespassers of the video surveillance. A petition has been signed encouraging deputies to stop anyone moving cattle at night.
Cattle are selling for close to $1,000 making a trailer full of cattle worth $15,000 to $20,000.
One local cattleman, Jody Norman, has lost more than $100,000 worth of cattle in the past five months. Norman told Ozarkfirst.com he’s raised cattle for more than 30 years and cattle rustling continues to grow.
Demand for cattle and high prices make cattle theft a lucrative business. Norman suspects the people responsible for his missing cattle have experience moving livestock.
"I think it's people real good at working with cattle because they can catch cows we have trouble catching," Norman told Ozarkfirst.com. "They can catch them better in the night than we can in the day."
Cattle producers are often set in their routines making it easier for rustlers to find a window to move cattle. Josh Ford, owner of the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center advises farmers to alter their schedules.