published Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Rising cattle prices cited in Alabama rustling cases

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — State rural crime investigators and farmers say the increase in cattle and beef prices are likely factors in several livestock thefts in North Alabama.

Lt. Gene Wiggins of the Alabama Agricultural and Rural Crime Unit said authorities are now investigating a report of 11 cattle being stolen from a farm in Etowah County. In late May, two men were arrested for stealing more than 50 cattle and farm equipment in the New Harmony community in south DeKalb County.

Billy Powell, vice president of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association, said although cattle theft has been a longtime issue, it seems to be happening more frequently with the rise in prices for cattle and beef.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say cattle and beef prices aren't expected to drop in the near future.

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