Stock theft has become a national crisis in Lesotho. According to the National Livestock Development Study Phase 1 report of March 1999, stock theft has reached epidemic proportions throughout Lesotho and appears to be escalating. Stock theft presents a challenge to the consolidation of the fragile democracy in the Kingdom of Lesotho as it impoverishes people and causes conflicts within and between villages that in turn threaten stability. In cases of theft the livestock owner loses all the economic value of livestock and is left destitute. This affects the entire household, the community, and the country. The rationale of this study is to inform policymakers and implementers on appropriate strategies to manage stock theft. The outcome will be useful in designing mechanisms and systems for stock theft interventions and in monitoring and evaluating them. These interventions will be at community level, in the justice and policing services and in management.
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