Attention pig farmers! Thieves who may or may not be operating in "well-organized rings" have been stealing hundreds of pigs owned by your Minnesota and Iowa brethren—most likely to sell as emotional-support animals the pork chops and hams of the future. Your porcine pals could be next!

Thieves stole 200 pigs in Mitchell County, Iowa, and hundreds more from southern Minnesota farms. One Mitchell County farmer attributes the thefts to "a few bad eggs," but that's really not specific enough. A sheriff in Minnesota believes the thefts are intentional, well-researched, and conducted by experienced pig dealers who target isolated farms where the pigs come with no identifying marks. Soaring pig prices are their incentive: A healthy 250- to 275-pound porker now goes for around $200, almost double last year's average asking price.

How can you protect your pigs from thieves? It's a question that many of us ourselves ask every day. Here are some commonly used methods:

  • Investing in a security system
  • Building a fortress-like wall around your farm
  • Digging a moat around your farm and filling it with alligators
  • Moving to a farm surrounded by quicksand
  • Hiring snipers to stand guard
  • Selling off all your pigs
  • Bringing all your pigs inside your farmhouse to live with you
  • Dressing up your pigs in costumes, to make them look like cheaper animals
  • Dressing up your pigs in camouflage
  • Enrolling your pigs in a self-defense course
  • Adjusting their privacy settings
  • Encrypting them

[Des Moines Register. Image via AP]