Are farmers right in demanding heavier penalties for those caught rustling?
At least 15 sheep have been killed on another North Otago farm, just days after close to 200 sheep were killed on a nearby property.
Oamaru police say the latest killings in the Ngapara area took place on Sunday night or in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The previous weekend, around 200 animals were shot on Peter and Janine Stackhouse's Ngapara farm.
Police are investigating the latest incident and conducting a scene examination. However, Detective Warren Duncan of Oamaru said it was too soon to say how the sheep died or whether their deaths were linked to the previous killings.
Inquiries completed in relation to the killings on the Stackhouse farm have confirmed the sheep were shot.
Police are seeking information on any suspicious vehicles or people in the Crown Hill, Conlans Rd and Peaks Rd areas overnight on Sunday or early yesterday.
"Both of these events are very unusual but we appreciate that they will be creating a high level of concern among local farmers and the community in the Ngapara area," Duncan said.
"If locals have concerns about their property security, then please contact Oamaru police for advice and support.
"Our general advice is, as much as possible, to be vigilant about securing your property and stock and to keep an eye out for any suspicious vehicles or people in your area. Talk to your neighbours and look out for each other."
Duncan said that, while police had received some "good information", inquiries were continuing.
"We're still working to piece together what's behind these events and, as such, we're keen to hear from anyone that might have information that could help us."
Duncan can be contacted on 03 433 1416.
- The Timaru Herald