Cross-border farm raids carried out
Hundreds of animals are being inspected after cross-border raids on farms.
The PSNI and gardaí (Irish police) were investigating livestock theft and carried out searches in counties Armagh and Monaghan.
Around 300 animals are being checked by officials to determine their ownership.
Around 35 cows and 15 sheep were found at the farm in south Armagh, while 250 sheep were discovered on a nearby farm across the border.
More than 20 PSNI officers were involved in the searches which centred around two sheds.
Insp Leslie Badger of the PSNI said carrying out such an operation can be risky.
“You have to consider your security when you are doing these operations,” he said.
“It’s not only the terrorism element to Northern Ireland, but also the criminality element – we have some criminals out there who would try to frustrate police actions and disrupt us.”
He also spoke of the importance of working with the Irish police to combat rural crime.
“We rely heavily on our partners in the Republic of Ireland An Garda Síochána and it’s with their help we can go in here – a property that straddles both sides of the border,” he said.
While recovering stolen livestock was the goal – the PSNI did not find any clear evidence of animal theft.
They did find breaches in animal welfare and cattle documentation.
The police also found some ear tags – used to identify cattle – which did not belong to the herd.
Insp Badger was happy with the outcome of the operation.
“It disrupts this type of activity – this is a big footprint into this area today in relation to the viability and the traceability of our animals – which end up on our tables,” he said.
Source: BBC News – Northern Ireland