7 May, 2021
Poaching and theft - property owners warned: be vigilant
A detective sergeant has warned that property owners need to be proactive with their own security, following reports of cows and deer having been shot dead and various thefts on properties in the Somerset region.
The officer in charge of the Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) at Forest Hill, Troy Whittle, said there were “spikes” in poaching crimes at certain times of the year which coincided with animal hunting, referring particularly to the annual mating periods of deer, known in hunting terms as “the rut”.
The few weeks surrounding Easter time is usually one of the busiest times for police trying to patrol illegal poaching with the rut of the most common deer in the Brisbane Valley and surrounding areas, the Red Deer, occurring in March.
“Lots (of people) are saying they’ve been victims of illegal poaching,” he said, before noting that some might be “suffering in silence”.
Det Sgt Whittle urged people to report incidents, even if it was thought that police couldn’t resolve the issue.
Noting that police did patrols, sometimes in unmarked vehicles, Det Sgt Whittle nonetheless warned that people shouldn’t leave their property unlocked or unsecured, and needed to be mindful of trespassers.
“You’ve got to be proactive with your own security,” he said, referring to the need to have signs and cameras, and to be vigilant.
“Property owners need to make efforts to protect their own interests.We’re not saying hunting is bad, but you’ve got to seek permission from the landowner.”
Det Sgt Whittle also referred to activities such as camping and fishing, saying that people needed to be wary of trespassing.
Detectives continuing to investigate where cattle were shot dead at a property in Crossdale, near Esk in March.
The cattle, reportedly worth $2500 each, were killed on a property on Wivenhoe Somerset Road between March 14 and 31. A small amount of meat was removed from the cows.
Detectives are also investigating the killing of another animal in the region, following the discovery that a deer was shot dead on SEQWater land. Surveillance cameras revealed several people with firearms were trespassing on the Lake Somerset property between March 29 and 31.