There has been a sharp decline in cattle rustling in Tanzania, according to figures released by the National Stock Theft Unit (STPU).

There were 4,428 cases of cattle rustling reported last year, resulting in 2,211 arrests and some 4,430 court cases. This compares to 11,845 reported cases in 2010, with 2,040 arrests, 4,718 court cases and 720 jail sentences.

The decreasing amount of cattle rustling cases has been attributed to better coordination between the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), the Pastoralist Indigenous Non-Government Organisations (PINGOS) network and village leaders.

STPU said that cattle raiding was often associated with community conflicts and in the past had resulted in the livestock owners being killed. Some of the worst areas included the Ngorongoro district of Arusha and the Mara region near the Kenyan border where fierce battles have taken place between the Kurya and Luo tribes following livestock theft.

Arusha has 1.2 million cattle