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Livestock Theft: Protecting Your Investment

If you have livestock, you understand the weight of protecting and caring for them. While your livestock is an investment, the time you take caring for and nurturing them makes these animals an extension of your family, and it can be devastating if something happens to them. Livestock theft is a reality that you should be prepared for. Knowing the different ways livestock are being targeted is the first step to preventing significant financial loss.

Methods of Livestock Theft

Cutting Fences

This can be a simple but effective way for a thief to break into your property to steal livestock. Depending on the target, it doesn’t take much effort or time to gain access through a weak spot in your fencing or perimeter.


Thieves may utilize this technique which drives your cattle, sheep, or other livestock away from their grazing areas making them more vulnerable to theft.


It can be more convenient for a thief to use poison to kill livestock before stealing them so they are easier to transport.

Nighttime Theft

Your livestock are most vulnerable at night when it’s dark and they are left alone.


A thief may pose as an authorized official or government personnel which could cause you to lower your guard and make it easier for them to gain access to your property and livestock.


Utilizing a drone is another method potential thieves use to gain information about your property, identify where livestock are stored, and uncover weak points in your security.

Transport Theft

If you are transporting your livestock, thieves may see it as an opportunity to take advantage of the change in routine and target your property.

Protecting Your Livestock From Thieves

Thieves can be crafty with their methods of targeting and stealing livestock, but there are many ways you can protect your animals against theft. Being proactive is the key to protecting your investment and keeping your livestock safe.

Fences & Guards

Ensure your perimeter and barriers to your property are secure. Use high quality fencing and regularly inspect it to ensure it has not been tampered with or damaged.

Know Your Livestock

It’s important to keep detailed records of your livestock, including descriptions and photographs. Knowing their behavior and having an accurate knowledge of your inventory will help you identify if something is wrong and aid law enforcement in the event that some of your livestock are stolen.

Upgrade Lighting

Installing things like motion-sensor lighting can help make your property less vulnerable in the dark and scare off potential thieves. These upgrades can also aid security cameras in getting clear images of trespassers or suspicious activity.

Brand/Mark Livestock

Giving your livestock clear identifying marks makes it easier to identify them and ward against theft. If one of your animals is stolen, providing this information to law enforcement is helpful, and it also makes it more difficult for thieves to attempt to sell your product if it is clearly marked.

Invest In Technoloy

Multiple types of technology can provide added protection against theft. Technology to detect drones and keep your property hidden from view may be a worthwhile investment. Additionally, electronic tracking devices on your livestock may help monitor their movements and alert you if they leave your property.

Utilize Secure Transport

To avoid being targeted during transport, use secure vehicles and lockable trailers for your animals. Avoid stopping in isolated areas and predictable routes and schedules.

Insure Your Animals

In the event that any of your livestock are stolen, insurance can help reduce the financial burden. Talk with your insurance professional about your farm insurance policy to ensure it includes suitable coverage for your animals.

Livestock Insurance

Your livestock is an essential part of your livelihood, so it’s important to take appropriate measures to ensure they are protected. Taking these measures will help ward off potential thieves and prepare you to work with law enforcement if any of your animals are stolen.

Talking to your insurance professional will help prepare you, so that in the event of theft, you and your family are protected against the financial loss. At Ianniello Agency, we are Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialists who are AFIS certified. We can help you create a policy that is tailored to your farm and livestock. Contact us today to discuss your insurance needs.

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