Police continue to work to get to the bottom of the theft of 500 cows from an Ashburton farm.

However, authorities say they have scaled back the investigation because of insufficient information.

"Police have to date spoken to a number of people in relation to the alleged theft,'' a statement said today.

"But at this stage, based on the information currently available, there is insufficient information to progress the matter further. However, the file remains open and the investigation may be scaled up again should any further new information come to light.''


Police have been investigating the case since the theft was reported to them late last month.

"The investigation to date has established that a number of cattle over a long period of time are unaccounted for and that current auditing systems and processes may have been open to abuse."

Farmers are now being urged to review all business practices, systems and auditing processes.

"It is also a reminder for prospective employers to thoroughly check all potential employees' references and backgrounds before hiring. This is particularly important when employing someone who may have a direct role in day-to-day business operations or finances.''

Authorities urged anyone who may have information in relation to the case to come forward.

**Can you help? Call Ashburton Police on (03) 307 8424 or CrimeStoppers anonymous on 0800 555 111.