Cattle Farmers in the Bunyoro sub region have raised concern about the surge in livestock thefts in the region. The most affected districts are Hoima, Buliisa, Kikuube, Masindi and Kiryandongo.
Statistics from the Albertine region police headquarters indicate that over 100 cases of cattle thefts have been recorded since November last year.
Livestock theft across the Bunyoro sub-region has been rampant for years. According to the police, some farmworkers have been implicated in the thefts. They connive with livestock thieves by providing information about the farm to the criminals who later invade the kraals during the night.
The stolen animals are transported to the districts of Gulu, Arua, Kampala, Masaka, Lira, Pakwach, Wakiso and Mukono among others.
Godfrey Kahiiga, a farmer in Kasenyi Lyato, Buseruka Sub-county Hoima district faults security for laxity. He says that some suspects have been arrested red-handed with stolen animals but have been set free by police.
James Kyalisima, another farmer who last month lost 5 cows blames police for the increase in cattle theft in the region saying if the suspects arrested are not immediately released from custody by police, the vice would be no more.
James Sunday, a farmer in Butiaba Sub County Buliisa District says that the rampant cattle theft has forced them to sacrifice sleep to protect their animals.
Ali Tinkamanyire, the Buseruka Sub County LCIII Chairperson admits the growing insecurity that is keeping farmers on tension and says that his office has notified security for several times to take action against the thieves but in vain.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, says that due to the surge, the police will deploy the Anti-Stock Theft Unit(ASTU) specifically to boost the fight against cattle theft.