$2m worth of cattle reported stolen from NT station
MORE than 1400 Brahman-cross cattle are believed to have been stolen from an outback station southwest of Daly Waters, with the owners now offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to the return of the livestock.
Police are still investigating the theft after the animals were reported stolen from Murranji Station in July.
The station was sold in March to Bunderra Cattle Co, a company owned by the Pickersgill family, for about $23m with 12,500 cattle included in the sale.
The family, who also own eight cattle properties in Central QLD, noticed they were about 1450 short during a headcount at Murranji in July and reported it to police.
Owner Kevin Pickersgill said they suspected about 800 weaners had also been taken.
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He suspects the cattle were taken some time between January and July.
"The missing cattle have been identified through the use of an advanced TSI system in conjunction with a thorough bang tail muster," Mr Pickersgill said.
"All together we think we've lost about $2 million worth.
"To move that number of cattle, you would have needed trucks which suggests a level of organisation.
"We're not going to let this go, which is why we're now offering a reward of up to a total amount of $250,000 to anyone giving information to Bunderra Cattle Co which leads to either the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of the 1450 cattle from Murranji Station, or the recovery and return of those cattle to the property."
Mr Pickersgill said most of the cattle would have a key symbol brand or ear tag.
NT Cattlemen's Association chief executive Ashley Manicaros said the frequency of incidents involving the theft of cattle seemed to be increasing.
Mr Manicaros said having a specialist police stock squad to assist with thefts like this would offer the industry a direct point of contact.
However, Police Minister Nicole Manison said this kind of criminal offending would be best dealt with by police in the first instance.
Mr Manicaros said the NTCA had developed a Territory Livestock Ranger concept to be the initial start point for any theft complaints.
"We presented the concept to the Police Minister Nicole Mansion, the Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, senior commissioned police officers and the NT Police Association," he said.
"The concept was certainly embraced, but it will require a change in thinking and legislation for it to occur, and at this point, there does not seem to be a commitment to solving this issue."
The NTCA costed their 16-Ranger proposal at $5m, with funding coming from the delivery of motor vehicle registration services to pastoral properties and indigenous communities.
Responses to the reward offer must be provided on or before December 18, 2020 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 0408 827 364 and must state in full a name, address and contact details.
Originally published as $2m worth of cattle reported stolen from NT station