Rural

Cattle thieves strike in the region

Bob and Joanna Creagh had about 50 angus breeders stolen from their property. Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald
Bob and Joanna Creagh had about 50 angus breeders stolen from their property. Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald Lisa Machin

FOR Bob and Joanna Creagh, the theft of about 50 angus breeders is one more struggle following a tough few years.

The cattle were stolen from their Weir Weir property, 60km south of Mundubbera, between September and October last year.

The couple noticed 60 head of livestock missing after the cows were mustered up in February.

"A few could have been killed by dingoes, but phenomenally we were 50 cows short, with calves," Mr Creagh said.

"It was a quarter of our herd. We've been breeding for over 25 years, been through droughts, low cattle prices, got to pay off debt and now we are short $100,000 worth of cattle.

"Basically you struggle and when you finally get ahead someone has beaten you to it."

The Kingaroy Stock Squad is investigating the incident.

Kingaroy Stock and Rural Crimes Investigations Squad Detective Sergeant Mark Ferling told the South Burnett Times in February livestock theft had "increased exponentially".

"In the last three to six months people are looking for cattle because they know how valuable they are," Det Sgt Ferling said.

"It ranges across the South (and North) Burnett, as south as Kumbia to as north as Monto. Numbers of cattle being stolen range from five head up to 60 head."

He urged producers to be aware of cattle theft.

"Regularly check fences, watering points, take note of suspicious vehicles and persons," he said.

"Report anything suspicious to police."

Det Sgt Ferling said livestock theft was one of the most significant rural crimes, and producers incurred huge losses.

Anyone caught stealing cattle faces up to seven years in prison.

Mr Creagh's neighbours are also missing 25 cattle, which were taken around the same time.

"Basically we want the cattle back," Mr Creagh said.

"Anyone looking to buy cattle, check the brand, look out around you.

"These cattle could be next door to where you are."

Mr Creagh is offering a $10,000 reward for any information.

"If we got them all back I'd probably pay a fair bit more," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kingaroy Stock Squad on 41607900 or Crime Stoppers, 1800333000.

Topics:  cattle theft, central and north burnett, crime, weir weir


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