Taking rural theft by the horns: SA Police

James Hall

A rise in stock theft is the last straw for police in rural South Australia.

More than 100 incidents were reported in the last financial year, costing farmers an estimated $1 million.

Operation Poach, originally launched in 2011, will be given increased powers with more officers trained to protect livestock.

The state's beef and sheep production industry is worth about $3.3 billion a year and Police Minister Pete Malinauskas says he wants to be proactive in controlling these crimes.

"While we have seen stock thefts fall on the whole, these crimes have hit an upwards trend in the past two years," he said.

"We hope this new collaborative training will see SA Police's team of Livestock Inspectors grow, meaning less farmers are suffering the economic loss and hardship of livestock theft."