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Southern Minnesota faces rash of hog thefts

Southern Minnesota faces rash of hog thefts

Over the last few months, southern Minnesota has experienced something not common to the area — hog theft. Pig farms are certainly common to the area, but not the rash of hog thefts that have recently occurred. Since August almost 750 pigs worth more than $130,000 have been stolen from two farms. Some might say that farmers are used to tough times, but not circumstances like this.

Every week hundreds of thousands of pigs are processed across the country, and the state Minnesota is the third-largest pig producer. Even though there is an abundance of pigs in the state, the recent hog thefts have already led farmers to install security equipment.

In August, almost 600 pigs worth $100,000 were stolen from a farm in Kandiyohi County and last month 150 pigs worth around $30,000 were stolen from a farm in Lafayette, Minnesota. A Minnesota hog farmer who raises 24,000 pigs every year believes that whoever stole the pigs knew the pigs were market size weighing 250 to 275 pounds each and knew where to bring them. The hog farmer said, “This is somebody who knows hogs and knows the area. It’s not somebody from 60 miles away.”

In response to the recent animal thefts, farmers have begun to install security systems. Some barns in the area already had time locks that only unlock with advance notice, but the purpose of the locks is to guard against potential disease. Farmers are more alert to what is happening on their grounds, some are installing security cameras and others are simply locking the doors to their barns.

An attempted theft was reported in southern Minnesota during the middle of August, but pigs at the farm were not taken because they weighed 100 pounds each; too small for market said a Nicollet County sheriff’s investigator.

Source: Kansas.com, “Minnesota farmers locking barns after hog thefts,” Paul Levy, Oct. 2, 2011

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