LOCKPORT, N.Y. — The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is urging farmers to be alert for possible animal activists trying to steal animals off of farms.
Law enforcement officials say they were made aware of a meeting that was scheduled to take place on April 15 that was advertised on social media "as a forum to encourage animal rescue, researching of facilities and winning at trial."
The sheriff's office says this group is "actively recruiting individuals for this purpose," and are asking farmers to be aware of any suspicious activity.
They say two farms in Newfane experience suspicious activity that was reported to police.
Police say the individuals arrive by vehicle to do surveillance on the farm, which they believe is to gather information for a "potential rescue of farm animals."
"Any illegal action taken by these individuals will be treated as criminal activity," said Niagara County Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti in a released statement. "The entering of private property, entering of buildings or stealing of livestock is a crime. Law enforcement in Niagara County will be vigilant for any of this activity and take appropriate action if a crime is committed. I stand with our farmers and the protection of their property."
If you see any suspicious activity near local farms, you're asked to call the sheriff's office at: 716-438-3393 or 911 in an emergency.