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Almost 15,000 cattle have gone missing in Northern Ireland in last 4 years - Barton

Ulster Unionist Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs spokesperson Rosemary Barton MLA has said it is astonishing that 14,506 cattle have gone missing in Northern Ireland in the last four years.

Mrs Barton said:

“I was astounded when I received the figures back from DAERA that so many cattle had ‘disappeared’ from the Department’s official cattle recording system APHIS.

“The system does not differentiate between the number of cattle recorded as stolen and those that have gone missing from the system.

“Three Divisional Veterinary Centres (Newry, Armagh and Dungannon) account for 6,813 of the missing cattle alone.

“While I am certainly aware that a number of cattle are stolen each year, it would appear that many cattle are disappearing from the system, which may suggest that cattle are being sold, moved and slaughtered illegally.

“I intend to progress this query to try to establish what follow-up action DAERA takes in relation to these ‘disappeared’ animals, if they ever trace any of them and if the PSNI are involved in any investigations.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Tabled Date: 10/07/2020
Answered On Date: 28/07/2020
Priority Written: No

Question:
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to detail how many (i) cattle; and (ii) sheep have been (a) stolen; or (b) reported missing, broken down by constituency, in each of the last four years.

Answer:

Thank you for your question in relation to the number of cattle and sheep that have been stolen or reported missing over the last four years.

The table below shows the number of cattle reported and recorded on the Department’s Animal and Public Information System (APHIS) as missing or stolen by Divisional Veterinary Office (DVO) area over the last four years.

DVO

Number of cattle reported and recorded as missing or stolen on APHIS per year

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Armagh

493

591

732

636

Ballymena

160

235

270

162

Coleraine

202

265

398

312

Dungannon

489

532

573

428

Enniskillen

162

217

284

161

Mallusk

289

322

317

517

Strabane

194

313

194

241

Newry

586

622

525

606

Newtownards

234

192

245

252

Omagh

408

412

362

373

Please note that information held on APHIS does not differentiate between missing or stolen cattle and is recorded against DVO area as opposed to constituency area.

Flock keepers rarely notify DAERA of missing or stolen sheep as there is no legal requirement for them to do so. As a result, DAERA hold no meaningful records for missing or stolen sheep.

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