Meri­nos pur­loined at Pin­gelly prop­erty

Countryman - - NEWS - Rueben Hale

Po­lice in Pin­gelly are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the theft of around 175 Merino sheep, worth about $30,000.

CBH di­rec­tor and Pin­gelly farmer John Has­sell has re­ported the sheep pre­sumed stolen from his prop­erty in two in­ci­dents last month.

He said he no­ticed 50 sheep miss­ing from a flock of 320 in mid-Jan­uary and 125 more, in­clud­ing two-prized rams, van­ished last week.

Mr Has­sell said it would be dif­fi­cult to catch the cul­prits, but he in­tended on beef­ing up se­cu­rity at the farm.

“The town is on high-alert be­cause five of my neigh­bours have told me they’d lost sheep to­talling in the hun­dreds around the same time as well,” he said.

“I’m go­ing in­stall video sur­veil­lance around my place, so un­wel­come peo­ple com­ing onto the prop­erty had bet­ter smile for the cam­era.”

Mr Has­sell also said he would be rais­ing live­stock theft as a se­ri­ous is­sue to be dealt with at the next WAFarmers Live­stock Coun­cil meet­ing.

“Why is it that it is a re­quire­ment to tag all of our sheep to sell them at the sa­le­yards, yet a thief can take a clip from them and sell them with­out hav­ing to de­clare where it came from,” he said.

“With wool prices so high it makes an ex­cel­lent busi­ness model to shear the an­i­mal and then shoot and bury it af­ter­wards.

“The other is­sue is it only takes a few ex­tra min­utes for the sa­le­yards to check the eartag num­bers against a list of re­ported stolen an­i­mals, but that doesn’t seem to be hap­pen­ing ei­ther.”

Pic­ture: Rueben Hale

John and Claire Has­sell on their farm.

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