A TWO-DAY conference in Bendigo will centre around law enforcement and the agriculture industry after an increase in farm theft.
The Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group conference begins today and will bring together police, government representatives and agricultural industry stakeholders to discuss the problem.
Victoria Police recorded 344 cases of livestock theft for the 2011/12 financial year, up from 250 in 2010/11.
Theft of farm machinery, equipment and chemicals also recorded an increase.
Head of Practice for the Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group, Superintendent Craig Gillard said farm theft was an important issue and the conference was a chance to share ideas on how to handle it.
“This conference is about putting the focus on reducing livestock and farm theft affecting Victoria’s country regions,” he said.
“Livestock and farm related crime affects many communities and the collaboration of police from across the state, along with the Victorian Farmers Federation, Department of Primary Industries, stock agents and farmers can only compliment the way in which we address this important issue."
Throughout Victoria, 6292 sheep, 356 cattle, 92 pigs, 53 poultry, 35 goats, 26 horses and one Llama were stolen last financial year.