Livestock and stockyard security

How to keep your livestock and stockyard secure and prevent theft on your farm.

Taking steps to secure stockyards and paddocks can help keep your livestock, property and equipment safe.

Explore crime prevention tips to deter trespassers and prevent theft.

Key crime prevention tips

  • Secure your property.
  • Keep records. 
  • Secure stockyards and paddocks. 
  • Know your livestock carriers. 

Theft prevention checklist

Secure your property

  • Install trespass warning signs on all entry points to the property. 
  • Lock all buildings, sheds and gates with good quality locks. Install locks on loading ramps.
  • Install the latest security technology.
  • Install sensor lights around all buildings.
  • Install CCTV cameras throughout the property and around the perimeter. 
    • Ensure cameras cover all buildings and sheds, and entry and exit points. 
    • Consider solar powered cameras where wired cameras cannot be used.
  • Use monitoring technology for stockyards and boundary fences. Options include electric fences and drones.
  • Build permanent and portable stockyards in view of the homestead.
  • Tell your neighbours if you plan on being away for an extended period.
    • Consider having family or friends stay at the house when you are away.

Keep records

  • Establish a biosecurity plan for your property with resources from Agriculture Victoria.
  • Use technology to track and or record movement of livestock. 
  • Link all properties with livestock to your PIC (Property Identification Code).
  • Take photos and videos to document any identifying marks.
  • Count your livestock regularly. 

Secure stockyards and paddocks

  • Make sure your fences are secure. 
  • Repair any fence damage immediately. 
  • Secure your gates with good quality locks. 
  • Lock gates when not in the yard. 
  • Secure loading ramps and stockyards at remote locations, to prevent unauthorised use.
  • Avoid holding stock unsupervised near roads. 
  • Name or number your paddocks and keep records about stock locations. 

Know your livestock carriers

  • Get to know your carriers, livestock agents and sale yards.
  • Ensure livestock are National Livestock Identification System (NILS) tagged before transport. 
  • Only use transporters you know or are recommended by your stock agent. 

Other things you can do

What to do if a farm animal has been stolen or your stockyard has been broken into

  • Report any unexpected losses immediately. 
  • If you see the thief, do not confront them. Your safety is more important than your possessions.
  • Do not touch anything. 
  • Take photos and notes of what you can see. 
  • Call your insurance company.

Report it

No issue is too small to report. If you see something suspicious, report it to police.

For emergencies, to report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

For non-emergencies, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online at Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

Report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Attend your local police station to speak to an officer in person.

Additional resources

Agriculture Victoria provides information on a range of farming issues.

The Game Management Authority regulates game hunting in Victoria.