Thursday, April 18, 2024

Cruellest cut for dairy farm

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Two heifers valued at almost $8 000 were butchered by thieves over the last two weeks at Canefield Plantation in St Thomas.

And plantation manager Nicole Greenidge fears the persistent acts of predial larceny are placing the jobs of farm workers in jeopardy.

“People may say this is a 400-acre farm with over 400 cows, so two heifers is nothing, but butchering animals illegally not only affects the farmer economically and the workers’ morale, but the employees have to be paid and hold onto their jobs,” Greenidge said as she showed the gruesome sight Tuesday.

Greenidge said 52 heifers and 30 calves made up that breeding herd and they were grazing on a seven to eight-acre plot. She added they would continue to operate at a loss as those heifers would have produced a calf each year for as long as they could.

Farm owner Stephen Williams said animal theft was extremely discouraging.

Police have been informed and are investigating.

President of the Barbados Beef and Dairy Producers’ Association, Annette Beckett, said predial larceny would cease being a major challenge in the agricultural sector only when Barbadians respected the work of farmers.

Amended legislation to protect farmers from praedial larceny could see someone convicted paying up to $10 000 in fines, along with maximum jail time of five years. (SB)

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