Cuban Authorities Blame Las Tunas Ranchers for Illegal Slaughter

The data threatens to exceed 5,305 in 2022 in the territory, since in just four months 36.8% of that figure was reached

Las Tunas is the Cuban province with the highest number of cases of theft and slaughter of livestock / Periódico 26

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, May 29, 2024 — Las Tunas reported, in the first four months of the year alone, 1,954 cases of theft and slaughter of large livestock, which authorities blame for the calamitous decrease in the cattle mass in the province. However, far from looking for the causes of the disproportionate increase in crimes, the local government called the ranchers irresponsible for not improving the safety of the cattle.

The figure threatens to exceed 5,305 cases in 2022 in the territory – latest data available – since in just four months 36.8% of that number was reached.

As published this Tuesday by the official Periódico 26, the Police reported that the crimes occurred in 341 units of the agricultural sector and affected some 3,480 animals, including cows and horses. The municipalities with the highest incidence, declared the authorities, are Jobabo, Majibacoa and the main city of Las Tunas.

A meeting was recently held in the province to address the issue. “In the investigative processes – carried out by the Ministry of the Interior after the complaints – negligence on the part of animal owners in the private and state sectors was detected; among them, the lack of ‘watchers’ during the day, areas full of weeds and tenants without land,” was the conclusion.

“There are many perimeter fences in poor condition and, lacking food, the cattle leave their usual spaces”

In summary, the ranchers were reprimanded for “the lack of security and protection, both in the corrals and in the pastures” which, according to the newspaper, was one of the most frequent circumstances in the crimes. “There are many perimeter fences in poor condition and, without food, the cattle leave their usual spaces,” the media clarified.

The governor of Las Tunas, Walter Simón Noris, urged several guajiros to “extreme campesina vigilance to stop once and for all the occurrence of these crimes, which place Las Tunas as the territory with the highest incidence of this phenomenon in Cuba,” adds Periódico 26.

Likewise, he called on the directors of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Association of Small Farmers to take action on the matter, which hinders the delivery of milk and meat to the State.

“He indicated that there is already experience in reducing the theft and slaughter of large livestock, but that the main responsibility lies with the producers, in charge of guaranteeing water, food and the safety of the animals, as well as quickly reporting any incident,” continues the newspaper, which, like the authorities, ignored the constant complaints of the ranchers.

Numerous articles have been published in both the official and independent press about the scarcity of resources that ranchers suffer to maintain their animals. From the lack of water to the inability to buy wire, fertilizers or food supplements, the list of needs grows and the State, due to lack of funds or resources, does not adequately supply the guajiros. This has been denounced by many of them, who claim that livestock farming is becoming an increasingly less profitable business.

Last February, 72 Las Tunas farmers from the main city refused to sign contracts with the State for the delivery of milk. The authorities, who at that time were facing the failure of the dairy plan in the municipality, had no choice but to recognize that the plans were “derailed” and proposed visiting the farmers one by one to “convince” them.

A month later, in March, the national livestock and land control process began, with which the authorities have taken the opportunity to “cash in” to the guajiros. The inspection has been carried out by the authorities and the press, which has uncovered in recent weeks several old cases of trials for theft and slaughter of livestock to keep complaints at bay.

With barely a fifth of the inspection task completed in April – in which it is intended to “survey” 13,601 ranchers and producers – the Ministry of Agriculture had managed to add 30,170 liters of milk, 27 tons of beef to the state inventory and 142 tons of agricultural products in the province.

At the same time, crimes involving livestock have gotten out of control in recent years. The 2022 figure increased by 2,207 cases compared to the 3,098 reported in 2021 and is twice as many as in 2020, when there were 2,394.

Of the cases of theft and slaughter that occurred throughout the Island in 2022 (82,445), 45,315 corresponded to cattle and 37,130 to horses. The increase is considerable compared to the amount from the previous year, with the loss of 33,690 heads, 17,144 of cattle and 16,546 of horses.


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