Rustling prison terms welcomed

Prison sentences for two sheep rustlers in the Gisborne area have pleased Federated Farmers.

Shawn Elsmore and Brian Raymond Middleton have been sent to prison for 18 months after being convicted of stock theft and other charges.

They had denied stealing about 160 sheep and lambs worth more than $28,000 from five farms.

Federated Farmers said rustling is a serious worry for the region and the prison terms handed out send a warning that it will not be tolerated.

Gisborne/Wairoa president Peter Jex-Blake said the sentences will also be a warning to those who have purchased stolen stock.

He said the convictions followed a lot of work by his predecessor, who worked with police to put together an action plan for combating rustling.

Mr Jex-Blake Federated Farmers is meeting police again next week to keep the communication up and ensure farmers know that if they have lost stock they should report it to police.

"It's not a waste of time," he said.

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