The Police have cited stock theft as one of the crimes that is raising concern and are appealing to pastoral farmers, especially those in communal grazing areas, to look after their livestock to reduce the incidents of theft.
The appeal follows increasing number of stock theft cases reported on a weekly basis.
Dimbo Peter, police officer from the Public Relations Unit, said last week the police recorded a total of 19 cases involving 30 livestock.
“We recovered four of the stolen livestock and arrested eight suspects in connection with some of the cases,” said Peter.
He explained that since the beginning of the year, the police had recorded 746 cases of stock theft throughout the country, compared to 732 reported during the same period in 2010.
Peter said on average, the police records 23 cases of stock theft every week.
He further explained that most targeted livestock include cattle, goats and sheep.
He added that in some instances, the stolen livestock is killed and the meat sold to business outlets dealing in meat products, a situation that Molepolole Station Commander, Superintendent Andrew Bosilong, said is unacceptable.
Bosilong said that some butcheries slaughter cattle in the forest and yet the public has been addressed not to do that. “They may be charged about P1000 or imprisonment for this according to the Livestock and Industry Act,” said Bosilong.
The Police revealed that in some instances, livestock is smuggled across the border into neighbouring countries and some of the most affected areas mentioned include Kweneng, Kgatleng and the Central districts.
Police say most farmers abdicate the responsibility of taking care of livestock to herdsmen, adding that some rarely visit the cattle post to check on their herdsmen and livestock.
The police warned Batswana against buying stolen cattle or meats.