5 Aug 2008

Tempers rise over stock rustling

3:12 pm on 5 August 2008

Frustrated Wanganui farmers are confronting armed rustlers and poachers after a spate of animal thefts.

Police say rising food and petrol prices are behind an increase in small-scale stock thefts and poaching.

Farmer Charlie MacNab and four neighbours recently set up a roadblock to contain three armed poachers until the police arrived.

In Waitotara, another farmer, Jason White, says he will shoot out tyres, ram vehicles and fire at anyone who points a gun at him, after a string of stock thefts.

Police are warning farmers could be prosecuted for taking the law into their own hands.

Large-scale rustling is also a problem in Rangitikei.

Constable Bruce Francis says one farm has lost 90 cattle in a year, valued at $50,000, and 250 lambs disappeared from another farm.