An Alberta family is offering a $25,000 reward for the recovery of 59 mixed breed heifers believed stolen from a farm near Czar.
The theft was noticed earlier this spring when owner Allan Hobbs did a monthly head count.
They are feeder heifers weighing about 600 pounds and are valued at $80,000.
The Hobbs family is offering the reward for information leading to the recovery of the cattle and an arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Cpl. Dave Heaslip of the RCMP’s northern livestock investigation unit in Alberta said there are two farm sites, and 192 head were in a feedlot on one of the sites. Gates had been opened to allow the cattle to walk back and forth to water and an 80 acre pasture.
The cattle were probably loaded onto a stock trailer. There is no evidence they escaped to another property.
“We suspect someone was watching very carefully and knew their routine,” said Heaslip.
The cattle are tagged and carry the Hobbs’ brand, which is a Lazy H C running bar.
The RCMP and Livestock Inspection Services are working together, and alerts have been sent to inspected livestock markets in Alberta, Sask-atchewan and British Columbia.
Heaslip said there have been smaller thefts in the last year, and in some cases the cattle were not branded or tagged. The high value of cattle makes its imperative to properly identify livestock so they can be recovered, he added.
“Tag them, brand them. It is the best insurance.”
People with information about this crime are asked to call their local RCMP detachment or police service or Heaslip at 780-289-5510or 403-896-0105.
Anonymous calls may be made to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 (TIPS). The program offers a $2,000 reward if information leads to an arrest.