A few years ago, Victorian livestock producer Belinda Steers went on a family holiday to Fiji.
- Livestock theft costs Australian farmers approximately $70 million a year
- Research suggests 60 per cent of rural crimes go unreported to police
- A new satellite eartag for tracking livestock promises to stop stock theft
"We hadn't even landed and I had a phone call saying that the cattle had gone," she said.
"The fences had been cut and we had only checked them 24 hours previously.
"People know your movements and it always happens when you're not around."
The Avenel resident was the victim of livestock theft — a crime estimated to cost Australian farmers $70 million a year, although that is nearly impossible to measure.
The latest research calculates that 60 per cent of stock theft and other rural crime goes unreported to police.
It is a severe impediment to their work.
"We've got a principal operating strategy of prevention, disruption, and response," Detective Sergeant Damian Nott said.
"We can't do any of those things if we don't know what's happening."