QUEENSLAND Police has issued a warning to goat duffers after a man was recently imprisoned for two years for fraudently selling wild goats he had taken unlawfully.
The Queensland Police’s Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) at Roma are warning people the theft of rangeland goats will not be tolerated and offenders will be prosecuted.
The warning comes after a man was recently sentenced in the Roma District Court to two years imprisonment, suspended for three years, for fraudulently selling wild goats he had taken unlawfully. A co-offender in the matter was dealt with earlier.
In a statement on the MyPolice website, Detective Senior Constable Chad Jenkins said it is an offence to take any wildlife, including rangeland goats, unless the taking of the goats is lawful, justified or excused by law.
“If the goats are taken unlawfully and the person taking the goats obtains a benefit from for example, selling the goats then that person has committed fraud.
“Only landholders in certain circumstances can lawfully take rangeland goats and sell them or domesticate them,” Detective Senior Constable Jenkins said.
State Coordinator, Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the unlawful taking of rangeland goats is a significant issue and the crime impacts on landholders who can make a legitimate windfall from mustering and selling the goats as they traverse their properties.
“These pastoralists have the expense of maintaining their properties, so for someone to trawl along roads and unlawfully take these goats, they are stealing that windfall and it won’t be tolerated.”
It is also incumbent on depot operators to verify the legitimacy of the rangeland goats they are purchasing or they could also find themselves under investigation and facing charges, the statement said.
“The profits from goat sales is often much needed financial assistance for the local farmers, if they are lucky enough to be able to muster them as they traverse their land.
“People who unlawfully take these goats may as well be taking the money out of their wallets. The penalties imposed reflect the seriousness of this offending,” Detective Inspector Dowie said.