The animal was reportedly slaughtered and butchered on site at Pallamallawa as the police photos show. Investigators believe that several vehicles were seen acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Mosquito Creek Road on Sunday and Monday evening. Photo by NSW Police.

Thieves slaughter cow and steal meat from farmer’s paddock

The incident accompanies continued reports of trespass in the region

POLICE are looking for several suspicious vehicles connected to an incident in the state’s North West this week where a farmer’s cow was killed and the meat stolen from the beast’s carcase.  

Moree Rural Crime Investigators said they were investigating the theft of the cow near Pallamallawa, about 35 kilometres east of Moree, during Monday evening.

The animal was reportedly slaughtered and butchered on site, as the police photos show.

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Farmers in the region told The Land it is not an uncommon practice, as it is less visible than moving live animals, and allows for thieves to account for a lack of identification tags. 

Investigators believe that several vehicles were seen acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Mosquito Creek Road on Sunday and Monday evening.

Police urge anyone with information about the incidents to come forward and contact Rural Crime Investigators on 6757 0869 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The incident comes amid continued reports of trespass in the region. 

Local producer Oscar Pearce has shared several examples of illegal hunters crossing his paddocks in the New Year.

He has captured several trespassing vehicles on security cameras. 

“It’s one of those things,” he said. “Particularly if you’re on a river block. There are pigs everywhere and hence you get guys coming out looking for them.”

Mr Pearce said he and his neighbours were involved in a co-ordinated 1080 baiting program, while others were active shooters and trappers. He called for better management of public land to reduce the feral pig population and in turn, the temptation for illegal hunters to come looking for them. 

“It comes and goes in waves. You might have (trespassers) who come out three or four times – they get caught or realise there are cameras and then they don’t come back. Others will come eventually.” 

He also said word that his property was set up with a combination of static and transmitting cameras had helped discourage trespassers.  

He’s installed more than a dozen static cameras, three home security systems and five 3G transmitting cameras. 

“It can be seen as an expensive thing to do, but it is not a huge investment considering what you’ve got on farm. If you’ve got a new tractor in a new shed you’re talking about a lot of money.

“Monitoring them is another thing on top of it all though. Most of the time it’s a kangaroo or a bird. At 3am you hear the sensor go off and you think, ‘well I better go check it just in case’. 

Mr Pearce said some processors were also helping reduce livestock theft by insisting to know where meat comes from, and whether a landholder’s permission was sought to get it. 

According to NSW Police livestock theft statistics for between January and October 2017, there were 2650 cattle and 15,097 sheep reported stolen, which cost farmers $2.8 million and $1.4m respectively.

Between January and October there were 279 events of rural trespass with 22 in October alone, mainly around the Darling River near Bourke and the Barwon at Moree.

Police also had 543 reports of illegal hunting, with hot spots in the Deniliquin area.

With Sam Townsend

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