Federated Farmers is warning sheep rustlers and poachers that rural communities are watching them following arrests in the Bay of Plenty.

Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson, says it's important to dispel the myth that police in rural communities do not take crimes like the theft of livestock seriously.

The call comes after Powdrell interrupted someone attempting to steal stock from his property.

"I was working late on the farm and spotted someone jumping the fence.


"When that person saw me they pulled up a hoodie and skulked away. When I got closer, I found one of my ewes had been tied up."

Powdrell says farmers need to keep an eye out for things that "do not look right".

Last year Powdrell lost valuable breeding rams worth around $8000.

"Federated Farmers message to those thinking they can come into rural areas and nick what they want, is to think again."

He says there are plenty of eyes now alert for suspicious activities.

"Farmers are using many security measures like locking up, cameras, recording vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers."

- nzherald.co.nz