How Ceres Tag can prevent livestock theft

Geofencing is a core feature of Ceres Tag, allowing farmers to receive alerts via their software partner of choice when an animal crosses the boundary. Receiving alerts when unusual activity occurs can aid in finding weak points in physical boundaries as well as preventing more sinister acts like livestock theft, which is often hard to trace and extremely costly to farmers.


Why is livestock theft an issue?

Livestock theft, often referred to as cattle rustling, is an issue that affects farmers across the world, particularly those from more remote areas. The age-old crime has a significant flow on effect for farmers and consumers alike, leading to increased costs for end consumers as farmers look to recuperate lost income from theft. 

New South Wales Police describe livestock theft as the most significant rural crime; affecting the livelihoods of Australian farmers and results in millions of dollars lost every year to livestock theft. In Australia alone, PwC estimated in their Livestock Report that 28,400 livestock are stolen every year and sold on the livestock black market.

Farmers invest thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and time into raising their herds, meaning stolen livestock extends beyond ‘just a missing animal’. These serious financial losses are often hard to recover as it often takes months for a farmer to discover part of their herd is missing. By the time a farmer realises they’re missing, it’s too late to track down the thieves or lost livestock.


World-first trial to prevent livestock theft

A ‘mock stock theft’ was staged by UNE criminologists and the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT) within the NSW Police Force, which put Ceres Tags to the test to find and recover the missing animals.

“We were notified within about five minutes from a number of the twenty tags used that the sheep were being ‘agitated’ – or moving faster than normal – which suggests a problem.”

- Dr Kyle Mulrooney, Co-Director of the UNE Centre for Rural Criminology.  


The trial proved Ceres Tags can be used as a line of defence against livestock theft. Harnessing the power of direct-to-satellite technology, the farmer was notified in near real-time through Mapipedia, and the team were able to recover all the animals that were stolen during the trial. Compared to a farmer manually checking their livestock, receiving a notification is significantly faster and enables farmers to quickly find their missing animals.


Five strategies to protect yourself from livestock theft:

  1. Tag your animals with a GPS tracker like Ceres Tag to receive alerts when your herd crosses geo-fences.
  2. Ensure fences and gates are well maintained
  3. Canvas your property from the point of view of a potential thief and identify access points that thieves may use to access your property and livestock
  4. Be aware of strangers or suspicious activity in your area and pass vehicle registration numbers to your local police
  5. Install surveillance cameras across your property, particularly along access points.


Read more about Crime Prevention on Farms by UNE Crime Prevention Program.
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