For most residents at Sariti village in Kinangop, Nyandarua County, the last three months have been characterised by livestock theft.
At least 17 dairy cows have been lost to criminals.
But things changed two weeks ago after police cracked the whip on the said criminals.
Two people who were believed to be behind the racket were arrested while transporting the animals towards Naivasha at night.
They have since been charged at Engineer law courts.
Things then changed for the farmers in the village and its surroundings as they would now sleep in peace. Little did they know that the thieves had changed their tactic.
The criminals are now milking them at night while they are asleep. They later smear the udder with cow dung.
A farmer Priscilah Njeri noticed this a week ago after the milk produce of her cows reduced drastically.
“I thought it was due to the weather conditions until several other neighbours complained of the same. We sought an advise from a local veterinary officer who ruled otherwise,” she told The Standard.
She immediately embarked on adding more food supply and salt to her three cows but things did not change.
Njeri together with other farmers concluded that the change was abnormal.
“We decided to guard our animals on a 24 hour basis but still we could not notice anything,” she said.
Not until last Tuesday when one of the farmers Joseph Githinji who was guarding his two cows in the wee hours of the night noticed something rare.
He spotted two people with milk baskets and water.
“Their intention was to milk my cows but immediately I raised alarm, they fled for safety. Upon searching at the farm, I found a jerrican full of milk,” he said.
The development has now left residents in a state of confusion as they are now being forced to guard their animals late into the night.
Nyandarua county commissioner Boaz Cherutich has since ordered a probe into the matter.
“This is weird and we will not let happen again. Police have intensified patrols in the affected area,” he said.
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