With prices skyrocketing, Riverina sheep are attracting more than the usual predators.
Marrar resident Garry Armstrong said reports of livestock thefts painted a picture of facts and figures, but he said seemingly small losses could cripple farmers.
His words follow the theft of hundreds of lambs and sheep from the region’s properties this year alone.
According to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, eight properties across the Wagga area had stock stolen across twelve months from March 2017.
This was more than double the rate of state-wide incidents per capita.
Mr Armstrong said the theft at his own property had not been isolated, extending beyond Wagga’s postcode.
He said about 85 stud ewes had been stolen from his “Armdale Park” property in February, resulting in the loss of more than $100,000.
“There’s flow on from that too,” Mr Armstrong said. “It’s not just the Ewes, it’s future lambs too.”
He said meat and stud prices had skyrocketed across recent months, which had been a win for farmers, but also put a target on their fences.
Mr Armstrong said his sheep were stolen on the one weekend he was absent from the property.
“(The thieves) were obviously watching the property .. they knew what was going on,” he said. “That’s the biggest concern.”
Mr Armstrong said he knew a number of farmers who had also lost stock this year.
“It has to be a team (of bandits),” he said. “They are really well organised.”
He said even though the sheep were tagged, the markers were only as good as the pair of pliers used to remove them.
“Obviously they have got somewhere they can move them that is not easily seen,” Mr Armstrong said.
“I know police are still investigating some of the thefts.”
Following the February incident, Mr Armstrong said he had increased security at the farm, driving around more at night and installing security cameras across his property.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.