A rash of hog thefts in recent weeks has garnered a good deal of media attention in the heart of the hog belt. Two southern Minnesota producers lost 750 market-ready hogs – 150 from one site, nearly 600 from another. In Iowa, groups of 20-30 pigs reportedly have been snatched from at least eight different sites. Another hog heist is being investigated in Nebraska.

Law enforcement authorities are finding it difficult to gather leads to help them track down the pig thieves. They are encouraging neighbors and rural communities to report any unusual activity, particularly around isolated finishing barns, and to be vigilant about checking hog facilities at random times during the day and night. In addition, pork producers should keep an accurate inventory for each barn, limit site access to a single entry point, keep restricted areas locked when not in use, provide good lighting in and around barns and farm sites, and consider adding a security system.

For help in developing a farm security program, Pork Checkoff has developed the “Security Guide for Pork Producers,” a 16-page document that can be reviewed or downloaded at: http://www.pork.org/filelibrary/SwineHealth/final%20security%20book.pdf. The checklist is designed to be a tool that pork producers can use to tailor security procedures to their production sites.