The Belmopan Police Station and the Belize Livestock Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to set up a bounty of sorts to provide a reward to police officers who successfully prosecute individuals involved in livestock rustling. Recently, there has been a spike in cattle theft and cattle farmers are feeling the pinch. They have tried all sorts of methods to try and curb the rise in this illegal activity but nothing seems to work. Alistair Macpherson, the CEO of the Belize Livestock Association, told us about this latest initiative to crack down on those partaking in this illegal trade.
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter
“You said there has been an increase in such activity, can you say by how much?”
” I can’t give you a direct figure. You see, this huge land, I can tell you its no longer just a person going to someone’s farm and steeling one animal in the middle of the night and slaughtering it in the field. It is now becoming organized. One farmer up north, last month, lost seven animals in one night. One of the valleys in Cayo, here at the weekend, three frames, one of them was for three animals and the other two was for two animals in the same night. Even Central Farm was affected two weeks ago. I think they lost two or tree . We are concerned as an association that there is a few of the members in certain areas that are becoming very militant and we don’t want to be getting into a vigilante type situation. I don’t think the association cannot condone that, certainly we can understand it but we cannot condone it. We have tried othe r approaches and nothing seems to work, so this fund is set up which is made to voluntary donations and pledges from within our membership and we are going to try it for the next year and see how it goes on. We hope it is going to be successful. “
Sup. Howell Gillett – OC, Belmopan
“This MOU last until 31st of July of next year. Initially, it was just for the Belmopan area, but in our discussions we realized that – how about the person that who convicts somebody in the south or in the north. I believe that they would be left out so we add it in the other districts also. It is for police officers across the country. So, wherever you are, you will be getting that $5,000. But, the caveat is that it has to be a conviction – not successful prosecution per say but totally to the end. “
The First leg of the game is to be played in September 4th at Toronto Canada and the second leg is to be played in September 8th at the FFB stadium in Belize.