Entire herd of cattle disappears from Quebec farm in suspected theft

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Jonathan Fortin woke up Friday greeting to cheque connected his herd of Black Angus cattle, only to find his section was empty.

Fortin, who co-owns Ferme For Thé successful Quebec’s Eastern Townships, said he initially thought his calves and cows mightiness person sewage loose, but nan beingness of tyre tracks and a obstruction that appeared to person been dismantled led him to reason that thing much sinister had occurred.

“All my herd — adjacent to 75 animals — were stolen,” he said successful an question and reply Monday.

Quebec provincial constabulary confirmed they’re investigating what appears to beryllium a lawsuit of modern cattle rustling. Police spokesperson Louis-Philippe Ruel confirmed constabulary opened a criminal investigation aft arriving astatine nan workplace successful Cookshire-Eaton, Que., connected Friday and uncovering nan cattle had “disappeared.”

Ruel didn’t opportunity really constabulary were readying to retrace nan herd, but he noted nan thieves would request to person entree to instrumentality and a spot to put nan animals.

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“You can’t move that galore livestock successful a Honda Civic aliases a Toyota Corolla,” he said successful a telephone interview.

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Fortin figures nan cattle were taken betwixt 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. connected Thursday, while he was retired moving his 2nd job. He said neighbours later reported seeing trailer lights and proceeding a commotion successful his field, but astatine nan clip they assumed it was buyers coming to prime up cattle.

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He said nan nonaccomplishment of astir $200,000 worthy of livestock represents a bully information of his savings and 4 difficult years of activity building up his farm.

“There’s a batch of emotion, because moreover if it’s a caller business, it’s still each nan activity and nan life savings,” he said. “To person a herd of that size, location were a batch of sacrifices that were made, it intends sometimes moving 2 jobs, things for illustration that.”

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Fortin says it isn’t easy to load dozens of cattle into trailers, but it’s not intolerable for personification pinch experience. He said nan animals are marked by tags, but he believes thieves would beryllium capable to region them.

While he’s heard stories astir stolen cattle, he ne'er thought his full herd could beryllium taken each astatine once. He said thefts usually impact individual calves that are taken by group who want to raise them for meat.

Fortin is still hopeful constabulary will beryllium capable to find his mislaid animals, which weren’t insured against theft. If not, he says he’ll person to rebuild his herd 2 aliases 3 animals astatine a time, while pushing backmost his plans to springiness up his 2nd occupation to workplace full-time.

“For judge it’s very difficult physically, and moreover much truthful morally, because we’re restarting astatine zero,” he said.

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