The Livestock Services of Saskatchewan (LSS) and Swift Current Rural RCMP are investigating are a sizable potential cattle theft in southwestern Saskatchewan.

Sometime between October 15 and November 5, 24 Red Angus cows and another 20 calves disappeared near Ponteix.

"Reality is that livestock do tend to disappear for a variety of reasons, obviously theft, rustling, or harbouring of strays are all options for them," Garth Woods, operations manager for the LSS, said. "We don't have any solid leads at this time."

The LSS sent out a release about the incident on November 17 and according to Woods, normally missing reports come out well after the fact due to a number of reasons.

"There are large groups of animals and these groups, once they're dispersed on larger pieces of remote property, are pretty difficult to get a constant inventory tracking that is reliable and completely accurate," he said. "[Most producers] assume sickness, possibly entrapment, this year waterholes or mudholes... A lot of producers try to eliminate management problems or herd health problems initially [before reporting]."

Woods added that Red Angus cattle are a very common breed across southwestern Saskatchewan.

"[They're] more hearty slightly smaller framed animals but just as desirable as any other breed," he said.

The cattle are branded with an over-flying wing pointing down on their right hip and they all have red tags.

Anyone with information regarding the potential theft is asked by the LSS or Swift Current Rural RCMP to contact them.