2 Sep 2016

Police no closer to solving stolen stock mystery

3:25 pm on 2 September 2016

A mid-Canterbury farmer says there's increasing worry about how to protect stock, as the police are no closer to finding out how 500 cows disappeared from an Ashburton farm.

Dairy cows in a milking shed in New Zealand.

Photo: 123RF

The cows, worth about $800,000, were reported stolen from a property managed by Mark and Pennie Saunders.

Family spokesman and farmer Willy Leferink said the couple was sure they had been victims of a sophisticated stock rustling ring.

"The rest of the fraternity here in mid-Canterbury is getting nervous... Like, do we need armed guards with the cows? It looks like South Africa soon."

He said many farmers had been padlocking gates and securing fence lines.

Mr Leferink said it was difficult getting information from the police.

Police told RNZ this afternoon the investigation was ongoing and there was no update at this stage.

Police earlier said all farmers should be checking their fence lines and boundaries on a regular basis because it was unlikely that the theft of hundreds of animals could be completed at once, and it was more likely that multiple thefts would be carried out over a period of time.