Inflation suspected as 'primary reason' for more Utah cattle rustling


by Brian Mullahy, KUTV (UT)

July 27th 2022


HOOPER, Utah (KUTV) — Although it may seem like a storyline from a novel or an old western film, a state agriculture official described cattle rustling as "something we see more and more of in today's world."


In Hooper, developer and sometime GOP political candidate Tim Aalders said he’s had two cattle go missing on his 140 acres in the past six months.


“Somebody just loaded up a couple of the cows and took ‘em,” Aalders said on Wednesday, saying he’s all but certain of the reason. “You look at the cost of food, and the supply of beef is down. So I think people are hungry.”


It’s a hunch shared by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.


“When we started seeing in the media all these food shortages, and people couldn’t get meat, missing livestock reports and suspicious deaths went up,” said Leann Hunting, Animal Industry director at the AG Department.


2News asked if inflation is the reason to blame.


“I would say the last two years, that’s the primary reason in Utah,” she said.


Hunting said in 2020, there were 57 cases of missing animals—sheep, horses, but mostly cattle—in the state. Last year, she said the number tripled, and while it’s slowed this year, the trend is up.


Aalders reported the missing cattle, but suspected it was butchered in someone’s garage...


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