Protection for Live Stock

British Colonist
March 27, 1867

Mr. Maxwell, from Salt Spring Island, relates a doleful tale of the state of affairs there. Five years ago he placed on his farm one hundred and fifty head of cattle. Since then he has sold only fourteen head, and today he counts only the original number that he imported -- the increase having been systematically slaughtered by Indian and white cattle thieves. Mr. Greavy, of Plumper's Pass, told a similar story in the Police Court the other day. All the settlers on the Island have suffered in a greater or less ratio. Protection for stock there is none. Mr. Maxwell says that within the month he has discovered the remains of five of his finest beeves, and that small stock are shot without number and their carcases carried away for sale or consumption. Is there no remedy for this great evil? We may legislate to prevent the importation of live stock, but how are our farmers to supply the local demand if this [illicit?] slaughter of their herds is to continue?

At present, law is a mockery on the East Coast. Farmers who have invested their means in live stock are at the mercy of any marauding savage or white villain who may take a fancy to replenish his larder at the expense of the man who has gone forth to 'subdue the wilderness' that has lain waste for untold centuries. These men paid Government for the lands on which they have located, and should and must be protected from the depredations of villains who are drawing, as it were, the very life's blood from the agricultural districts. The "strong arm of the Government" must make itself felt soon, or there will be terrible work on the East Coast. The settlers have been patient and forbearing for many years; but they cannot submit longer to have their farms invaded and their property wantonly destroyed or carried off to support a pack of fellows too lazy to work. We are admirers of law and order; but there are times when even the most law-abiding citizen may be excused if he takes matters into his own hands and metes out that punishment to evil-doers which the law prescribes, but which its officers are too weak or inefficient to enforce.

Source: "Protection for Live Stock," British Colonist, March 27, 1867

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