Cattle and sheep rustling ... now ‘bale rustling’!

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YOU’VE heard of cattle rustlers and sheep rustlers but now north Antrim farmers are facing a new menace according to MLA Robin Swann ... “bale rustling”!

Mr Swann has called on all farmers “to urgently implement a scheme to guarantee silage safety on all farms”.

The Ulster Unionist representative, a Past President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, has issued the challenge to farmers across the Province after it emerged that at the end of last year there were reports of round bales reaching nearly £50 each.

He said: “Following the recent snow crisis which is resulting is a severe fodder shortage in many areas, I warn farmers to make sure their round bales are safe and secure and marked with their postcode or some other means.

“Round bales are now nearly as valuable as livestock, and for the unscrupulous in our society a pile of large bales sitting by the roadside will be an attractive and easy target.

“I know of people who have suffered from this new plague of ‘bale rustlers’ recently. The bitter financial blow of losing fodder with excessive costs to replace bales could see farmers go to the wall,” warned Mr Swann.