This article reports on the effect of stock theft and mortalities on the livestock industry in South Africa, using the information from a survey based on a sample framework where urban/rural/deep rural enumerator areas of the South African population census are fused onto the input variables of the different biomes. The results are grouped according to the land owner system, viz. private land and communal land, since the dynamics between the two are different. It demonstrates that involuntary exits (death and stock theft) are much higher on communal land than it is on private land. Stock theft is of particular concern in the case of sheep, irrespective of land owner system. Official figures on stock theft seems to be an under estimation and this survey indicates that the effect thereof may be higher than what the official figures indicate. A decrease in mortality can also have a big effect on production levels and its negative impact is even larger than that of stock theft. These involuntary exits have a negative impact on sustainable rural livelihoods of livestock farmers.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher