Cattle theft charges laid in Sask.

RCMP have charged two Saskatchewan people for trafficking cattle in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

RCMP in Lanigan, Sask., charged Monika Ribi, 59, and Andre Ribi, also 59, of the Rural Municipality of Prairie Rose after a five-month investigation at Caprina Farms and Ranching near Jansen, Sask.

According to RCMP, a search June 9 by Lanigan RCMP, the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit and Livestock Services of Saskatchewan resulted in “a substantial recovery of Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle.”

RCMP allege the two trafficked a large number of animals.

Monika Ribi was charged with five counts of theft of cattle, two counts of trafficking stolen cattle and one count of fraudulently marking cattle, all under the Criminal Code. She was also charged under Saskatchewan’s Animal Protection Act with causing animals to be in distress.

Andre Ribi was charged with single counts of cattle theft, trafficking stolen cattle and fraudulently marking cattle, and with causing animals to be in distress.

The two were released with conditions and are scheduled to appear in provincial court in Humboldt, Sask., on Aug. 24.

It wasn’t immediately known if animals had been seized under distress laws.

Staff sergeant Greg Abbott of the RCMP’s central district management team said farmers and ranchers who were able to specifically identify that animals were missing and report them were key to the investigation.

“In this instance, it specifically resulted in linkages being made to other inter-provincial files and ultimately resulted in a much larger investigation and charges laid,” he said.

RCMP said branding cattle is the best way to identify ownership.

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