IFA leaders back rustling reward incentive

Eamonn McFadden

Reporter:

Eamonn McFadden

Donegal farmers may work together to raise funds for cash rewards to help combat cattle and sheep rustling in the county.

Donegal farmers may work together to raise funds for cash rewards to help combat cattle and sheep rustling in the county.

A meeting of members of Donegal Irish Farmers Association in Letterkenny on Monday night heard there was a sharp rise in the theft of livestock in the county in recent times.

The meeting, which was attended by IFA national President, John Bryan and General Secretary, Pat Smith, heard a speaker from the floor during the question and answer session suggest the Donegal group join together to raise funds that can go toward offering rewards for information leading to the return of animals or information leading to the arrest animal thieves.

John Bryan welcomed the idea saying he was aware of two serious sheep theft incidents in recent weeks and said the suggestion “was not a bad idea”.

The meeting heard that a reward of up to €3,000 was available for information in one of the these cases and it may help secure information leading to their return.

Mr Bryan said theft and break-ins were on the rise and a reward may prompt people to come forward with information.

IFA General Secretary, Pat Smith, welcomed the proposal saying it was a “good idea”.

He said the IFA would consider making a donation to the fund “as a gesture to try and secure it”.

He also said they would advocate a text message service for farmers and landowners to alert each other to suspicious activity in their areas as there were “lots of eyes and ears on ground”.