Sne Masuku

An elderly man from Umgababa, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, is facing charges of stock theft after he was found with three stolen cows.

Now police are urging members of the public who have missing stock to contact the Umkomaas police within seven days before the animals are moved to an animal pound.

The 60-year-old man from section 35 was arrested on Friday after police stormed his home and found cows the presence of which the suspect could not explain.

Police spokesman Captain Vincent Pandarum said one of the cows had been pregnant when it was stolen, and had since delivered a calf at the suspect's residence.

Pandarum said they were very concerned about stock theft in the area, especially in Umgababa.

He warned cattle owners in the area to be vigilant and to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their stock.

He said that at the rate at which the prices of cows are going, "it is very wise for cattle farmers to brand all their cows so that finding them when lost could be easy".

"In view of the high price of cattle, it would be wise to invest in cattle branding and nose printing so that they can be easily identified," he said.

He said police occasionally recover stolen stock that had strayed on to public roads and at residential areas.

"Unless the animals have been branded, it is always impossible for us to determine who the rightful owners are," Pandarum said.

l Anyone who has missing stock should contact Detective Inspector Patrick Mgobhozi of the Umkomaas SAPS on 039-973-1011