ONGWEDIVA - Police in Kavango West have put up strict control measures to prevent livestock theft, under the guise of seeking greener pastures, in the two Kavango and other neighbouring regions through a public awareness program of anti-stock theft program.
The anti-stock theft program for Kavango West will run during the month of May.
Because of severe drought experienced in the central northern regions of the country, livestock farmers from the regions of Ohangwena, Oshana, Omusati and Oshikoto are now moving their animals - mostly cattle - towards Kavango West where better pasture exists.
Countless cars pulling trailers of livestock, and people driving animals toward the northeastern regions of the country are observed daily.
According to Kavango West Police Regional Commander, Commissioner Josephat Abel, many farmers are moving their livestock without legal certificates from the department of veterinary and other relevant authorities as required by the law.
Police are however concerned that criminals are using this dire time to steal livestock and easily move them across villages or regions.
Thus Abel noted that Stock Theft Act of 1990 which gives guidance on how farmers should move their animals is clear. According to the Act, “no person is allowed to drive, convey of transport any stock or produce of which he or she is not the owner or along any public road unless he or she has in his or he possession a certificate (hereinafter as a removal certificate) issued to him or her by the owner of such stock process or the dully authorized agent of such owner…”
The law also requires livestock to have ear tags with identification information which are recorded in government database.
Apart from police direct intervention, Abel thus urged all community members who will observe suspicious movement of livestock to report to the nearest police station.