Hay Destined for the Alberta SPCA Stolen
Theft Demonstrates Desperate Need for Feed
Approximately 70 bales of hay that were to be donated to the Alberta SPCA was stolen from a field before Peace Officers could arrange for it to be picked up. The hay, with an approximate value of $10,000, disappeared sometime between July 31st and August 5th.
“The hay was going to be used to feed livestock in the care of our organization this winter,” said Alberta SPCA Provincial Supervisor Stuart Dodds. “Unfortunately the bales disappeared before we could set eyes on them.”
The hay had been illegally cut and baled at Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park just west of St. Albert. Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP) made the decision to offer the hay to the Alberta SPCA. One of our Peace Officers went to inspect the hay before arranging for transportation, however, all but one of the bales were already gone.
“This would not have been an easy task,” added Peace Officer Dodds. “Collecting 70 bales would have required a bale picker as well as numerous loads on a flatbed semi-trailer.”
This situation demonstrates the desperate situation facing many livestock owners. Hot, dry weather has led to a poor hay crop and rising prices in many parts of Alberta. Producers are encouraged to secure winter feed (legally) as soon as possible. If farmers do not have enough feed to get through winter and spring, they may need to take steps to reduce their herds this fall. Allowing animals to starve due to a lack of available feed is not acceptable.
On top of the missing bales, another 11 bales were removed from the park and transported to a rural property prior to the complaint being filed. Those bales have been donated to the Alberta SPCA and will be used to feed animals seized by our Peace Officers this winter.