The bulls, belonging to Gert and Annemarie Putter, were slaughtered and dismembered and the perpetrators fled with the meat. A fourth bull bled to death. Three other had to be put down because of the extent of their injuries.
Putter said this is not the first time that his AC Coetzee Kaaldoorns Simmentaler stud had been targeted by stock thieves. In 2005, 18 of his stud bulls were stolen.
“The cruelty of this week’s incident is mind-boggling. This time the criminals chopped the animals’ Achilles tendons and then proceeded to kill them. This is terribly, terribly brutal. Not only are these animals our livelihood, they’re part of our family. It’s heartbreaking to see them slain like this.”
According to Putter, the SAPS arrived on the scene “very late”, while the Vereeniging stock theft unit “could not come out to the scene because, as they claimed, they did not have access to a vehicle”.
“I’m very concerned about the deteriorating state of safety and security in our area.”
Farmers patrol the area every night, but Putter could not say when the incident took place, because that night’s patrol did not detect anything suspicious.
Flaf Lauwrens in the meantime said stock theft is a serious threat to the stud industry. Valuable and top genetics are lost in this way. “But killing any animal in such a cruel manner is a tragedy for our country. I am deeply shocked by this,” he said.
A member of the stock theft unit, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the SAPS is investigating the incident.