In the Williams Lake region the beef sector forms the backbone of the agriculture industry. The Williams Lake region boasts some impressive numbers when it come to ranches and cattle. Most cattle are sold through the Williams Lake stockyards, one of the largest in the province.
Cattle producers face many challenges today. Unlawful activity such as the killing and harassment of livestock can leave a producer faced with significant losses. Every year Cattlemen are the victims of crimes involving firearms, theft, mischief and animal cruelty. These crimes can be difficult to investigate as they often occur in rural and remote areas and as a result many are not reported to the RCMP.
The majority of ranches in the Cariboo are highly dependent on Crown range which provides about 40% of the annual forage requirements of the ranching industry. During the summer months there are times when cattle are found on roadways. Livestock on highways poses a risk to public safety as well as financial loss to the producer. A mature cow can weigh around 1500 pounds and when involved in a collision with a motor vehicle can be a dangerous situation.
The RCMP have made steps to improve communication with the cattle producers in the Williams Lake area to prevent these situations.