An Elsmore sheep grazier says her commitment to farming has not wavered despite suffering a second stock theft in 12 months from her Paradise Road property.
The grazier, who prefers not to be named, said around 25 wethers and ewes were stolen in October last year, followed by another 30 ewes discovered missing last month.
“It’s big loss,” she said.
According to the New England Rural Crime Unit the latest theft occurred sometime between May when the mob were drenched and a July 27 muster when the ewes were discovered missing. Further mustering, checking of paddocks and inquires with neighbours have failed to locate any sign of the sheep.
The ewes are currently a month off lambing and were last shorn in October 2016.
The owner said the impact of losing the ewes is compounded by not just the loss of the animals but their wool and lambs.
“It’s not just going to affect this year,” she said.
Although the individual sheep have recently been fetching between $130 to $148 each, the owner used a conservative estimate of around $100 per animal to approximate an immediate base financial loss of $5,500.
She said, however, that she will continue to work the local property.
“My loyalty for farming is so strong that I’m not giving up,” she said.
Police said the missing sheep are station bred and ear marked with two vertical splits in the bottom of one ear (see illustration). At the time of the theft, the sheep were fitted with NLIS tags NB330388.
Police investigators say they are keen to speak with anyone who may be able to assist with any information in relation to the missing sheep and/or any person who has been sighted acting suspiciously in or around Paradise Road at Elsmore.
If you can assist, please contact Detective Rod Fenner at the New England Rural Crime Unit on (02) 6722 0531 or call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.
The findings of an independent review into NSW legislation and penalties targeting stock theft and rural related trespass, remain undisclosed despite the report’s completion more than a year ago.
NSW Police Minister Troy Grant commissioned the review in February 2016 stating: “The NSW Government wants to ensure that our network of dedicated rural crime investigators have all the support they need to tackle this problem.”
The enquiry was headed by former NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Bradshaw on behalf of the Rural Crime Advisory Group (RCAG). Consultations were held with NSW Farmers, local landowners, the RCAG, the Department of Primary Industries, local police and other stakeholders.
The Bradshaw Review reported back to the Deputy Premier, on deadline, in June 2016.
Earlier this year, Mr Grant told ABC Rural that the NSW Police and the Justice Department had completed their consideration of the findings.
“It’s currently with the Attorney-General who’s … reviewing what’s being proposed,” he said.
In response to a recent inquiry made by the Inverell Times, regarding progress on the report’s public release, Mr Grant’s office stated: “The Bradshaw Review will be put before cabinet shortly.”
The statement also quoted the Police Minister as saying: “People in regional NSW want a more responsive Police Force when it comes to stock theft.”