01/20/2014 01:30 EST | Updated 03/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Horses' Tails Stolen By Thieves In B.C.'s Cowichan Valley

horse tail

Horse owners in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island say their animals' tails are being targeted by thieves. 

Duncan-area farm owner Krista Batty says three of her show horses have had their once long tails bluntly hacked off and stolen in the past week.

"They must be giving them some good treat because my grey horse that had her tail cut off, she's very untrusting of people," said Batty.

Batty said the thieves are probably striking in the daytime, because her horses are kept in stables at night and they would not take well to strangers with flashlights.

"It just looks like someone petting them across the fence and I think that's why no one's noticed any suspicious activity," said Batty.

Several other local horse owners say thieves have targeted their animals too — and it is not the first time. A similar incident was reported to the RCMP last March. There has also been at least one case in Langley and multiple cases in the United States. 

Batty says she does not know why someone would steal horse tails, but suspects the hair could be used for arts and crafts projects or to make violin bows.

"If [the thieves] came forward, we would give them all of the hair we didn't need. But stop taking the hair they do," said Batty.

Some horse owners in the Cowichan Valley say they will now invest thousands of dollars to build and electrify fences. 

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