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Thieving off the land

Stolen crops and livestock plague small farmers and damage efforts to improve Hawaii’s food sustainability

By Christine Donnelly

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 27, 2013

~~<p>For all the talk about supporting local agriculture in Hawaii, ranchers and farmers in the islands sometimes feel besieged. While contentious debates over GMOs and pesticides garner more headlines, theft remains a persistent problem, especially for the small operations that are less able to absorb the loss of livestock, fruit, vegetables and plants.</p>
<p>The Kahuku rancher who lost 23 of his prized purebred Boer goats to thieves last month doesn't expect to see the animals again, but he does hope that a rigorous prosecution of the case raises awareness about agricultural and livestock theft in general, including how its costs trickle down to the consumer. Two men face multiple charges of felony theft in the crime, with the goats valued at $10,000.</p>
~~

For all the talk about supporting local agriculture in Hawaii, ranchers and farmers in the islands sometimes feel besieged. While contentious debates over GMOs and pesticides garner more headlines, theft remains a persistent problem, especially for the small operations that are less able to absorb the loss of livestock, fruit, vegetables and plants.

The Kahuku rancher who lost 23 of his prized purebred Boer goats to thieves last month doesn't expect to see the animals again, but he does hope that a rigorous prosecution of the case raises awareness about agricultural and livestock theft in general, including how its costs trickle down to the consumer. Two men face multiple charges of felony theft in the crime, with the goats valued at $10,000. Login for more...



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