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The study sought to determine whether pastoralists have resorted to sale of livestock as a form of insurance against commercialization of cattle rustling in which well structured and managed cartels have organised more intense and frequent cattle raids on pastoralist, and how their decisions have affected their herd size. The study was conducted among the pastoral Baringo community of Kenya. A sample size of 110 households was selected using multi-stage sampling procedures and interviewed using a questionnaire. Binary Probit Model and Ordinary Least Squares were used in the analysis. Results indicated that cattle rustling, particularly in its predatory state significantly contributes to spontaneous sale of livestock even under very low prices that in themselves could be described as raiding. The results further indicated that the number of livestock lost through cattle rustling dominated livestock sale and hence reduced herd size and the numbers of livestock available for sale. The insecurity generated by cattle rustling, coupled with the poor marketing infrastructure make market inaccessible by both buyers and sellers, resulting to increased poverty and dependency amongst the pastoralists. Consequently, pastoralism has become a source of misery rather than source of livelihood.


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