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Peace Officer Stuart Dodds (left) accepting a donation of hay from Conservation Officer Rob Spellicy (right) from Alberta Environment & Parks. (Alberta SPCA)
September 7, 2021 Issues & Insights

What We’re Reading | Hay rustlers reveal depth of drought desperation

Hay illegally baled from an Alberta park and seized by RCMP and then stolen reflects desperation of livestock producers as historic drought threatens the Prairies.

By: Doug Ferguson, Western Producer

Theft of about $10,000 in hay bales gathered without a permit from a provincial park in Alberta, and then stolen before they could be donated to a charity, is being seen as an example of the desperate situation many livestock producers face.

Due to widespread drought and heat waves that have caused poor hay crops and rising prices across much of Western Canada, “people are going to whatever length to secure feed,” said Stuart Dodds, provincial supervisor for the Alberta SPCA.

After the round hay bales were found in the park by conservation officers, Alberta Environment and Parks decided to donate them to the SPCA. However, the bales were removed by an unknown party before the charity could pick them up.

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‘What We’re Reading’ is a quick look at some of the issues and insights Alberta Beef Producers’ content creators and editors are reading to stay up-to-date, to broaden perspectives, and to explore issues relevant to the agriculture industry.

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