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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Nelson Black Market

    Rustling, poaching rampant in Nelson region

    Last updated 13:00, March 21 2015
    UNDER THREAT: Police believe some rustlers and poachers are using silencers and night-vision gear to go undetected.

    A black market for meat is fuelling the rise of poaching and stock rustling across Nelson Bays, costing some farmers tens of thousands of dollars in stolen stock.

    Police say there has been an increase in thieves raiding stock from private farms and believe some rustlers and poachers are using silencers and night-vision gear to go undetected.

    A farmer, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, said about 150 lambs, sheep and ewes had been stolen from his land in the Motueka Valley since last November, costing him more than $10,000.

    "It pisses you off because there's not that much money in it. And when they come and take your livelihood like that - one or two, we can live with that if someone really needs a bit of meat that bad - but when they start taking $10,000 worth of hard-earned money, that starts to get a bit over the top."

    Nelson Bays police rural Sergeant Rob Crawford said stock rustling was was being driven by a black market for meat.

    "There is a black market for meat. That's not unusual for that to happen, for people to onsell the meat or onsell live carcasses as a whole, especially sheep.

    "There is a financial motivation but also people try and fill their own freezers."

    However, he stopped short of saying it was an organised criminal operation.

    "We've had sporadic information in relation to private homekill operations going on within our area, but nothing's been proven.

    "I think you'll find it's not an organised criminal operation in relation to the meat, I think it's just selling it to mates."

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    He said livestock was sometimes onsold to other farmers. Crawford said rustling and poaching comes in "peaks and troughs" but was always a problem in rural areas, but usually farmers would only lose 10 to 20 sheep at a time.

    "It's surprising that large numbers can go at any one time and we don't have witnesses to that because you'd need dogs and trucks to do that, or at least a large caged trailer."

    In the past week, several sheep carcasses were found in a forest near Wai-iti and police would like to hear from anyone who has lost black-headed sheep.

    The farmer said stock rustling was a difficult problem to police, but he was disappointed with what little action police had taken in response to his complaints.

    "I had a pretty good idea who did it and I just wanted them to at least make a presence and say: 'Look, stop this shit, we're on to you.' Otherwise it could keep on going and going," he said.

    "If you let them away with it, it goes more and more."

    He said to make off with 150 sheep over several months, the offenders would have to be organised.

    Gavin O'Donnell, former Federated Farmers Nelson provincial president, said the financial cost to farmers was "considerably more" than the value of the stolen stock.

    "It's their future reproductive value as well.

    "For every young breeding ewe, for instance, who might be expected to have a productive life of somewhere between five and eight years, there could easily be $1500 or so in value which is lost."

    Crawford said stock rustling and poaching happened in rural areas right across Tasman district.

    "You've got these isolated valleys in the middle of nowhere and it is difficult."

    He said police were ramping up their overnight rural patrols to crack down on the problem and two people have had their firearms licences revoked for unlawful hunting this year.

    He urged farmers to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity to police.

    "I would rather face the police officer than an angry cockie."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Nationwide and South Pacific
    I'm looking forward to seeing the evidence for the use of night vision equipment in these activities.



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