‘My Children Are Frightened,’ New York Farmer Says After Animal Activists Try To Steal Cattle

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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New York farmer Paul Strobel said in an interview with Fox on Thursday morning that animal rights activists tried to steal his farm animals multiple times.

Two people were videotaping his cattle, barn, and security systems, Strobel told Fox. When he ran outside, the potential thieves ran away. Strobel said he believes they returned later in the day, but left after they saw him working outside.

Niagra County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) posted a public alert on April 18, warning farmers to stay alert for suspicious activity. The statement warned farmers that activists were trespassing on private property to record the facilities and perform “animal rescue.” (RELATED: Dairy Farm Explosion Kills Almost 18,000 Cattle, Critically Injures 1 Person)

“I’ve definitely been targeted and it’s created great concerns amongst me and my neighbors and my family,” Strobel told Fox, “My children are very frightened … my 10-year-old son goes to sleep at night worrying that the ‘bad people’ are going to come and hurt his animals or his pets, so I’m afraid it’s going to happen eventually.”

“We have alerted our members to potential suspicious activity and reminded them to be vigilant in reviewing their farm safety protocols and to be aware of anything unusual on or near their property. They should call their local authorities if there is an issue,” the New York Farm Bureau told the Daily Caller.

“Any illegal action taken by these individuals will be treated as criminal activity.  The entering of private property, entering of buildings or stealing of livestock is a crime,” Sheriff Michael Filicett said in a statement, “I stand with our farmers and the protection of their property.”

 New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt is introducing legislation to classify unlawfully entering or remaining on farmland with the intent to commit a crime as second-degree burglary.

“Let’s be clear – these are not ‘advocates’, these are extremists who believe they have a right to steal from our hard working local farmers,” Ortt said in a press conference, “These extremists are threatening our farmers’ property and their livelihoods.”

NCSO did not immediately respond to Daily Caller’s request for comment.