Innovative Technology May Put a Stop to Agricultural Crime in Australia

Farm-related crime has been a notorious issue for rural property owners in NSW.
20 April 2023
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Australia is facing a major problem with agricultural crimes, with an estimated 31,000 cattle stolen each year at a cost of $50 million. 

The situation is just as dire in New South Wales, where 16,700 sheep and 1,800 cattle are stolen annually. And while it's difficult to pin down when these crimes occur due to the nature of farming, it's clear that farmers are reluctant to report theft for fear that perpetrators will go unpunished. 

Dr Kyle Mulrooney from the Centre for Rural Criminology at the University of New England has noticed this trend, which is concerning given the high prevalence of these crimes in the farming sector.

A recent study has revealed that a staggering 80% of farmers in NSW have fallen victim to farm-related crimes, with 40% reporting the theft of livestock on their property. But there may be hope on the horizon in the form of new technology. 

Researchers at the centre have been experimenting with animal ear tags equipped with GPS trackers. Not only can they collect data on the animal's movements, but they can also provide location information through the use of low-orbit satellites. 

Dr Mulrooney believes that this could be a game-changer in preventing future crimes targeting rural properties: "For example, if an offender was mustering the cattle, you'll get a notification of high movement that should encourage the farmer to act and call the police.” 

- CyberBeat


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