Murranji Station was sold with about 12,500 head of Brahman cattle earlier this year, but now about 1,400 have been reported stolen. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property
Murranji Station was sold with about 12,500 head of Brahman cattle earlier this year, but now about 1,400 have been reported stolen. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property

$2m worth of cattle reported stolen from NT station

MORE than 1400 Brahman-cross cattle are believed to have been stolen from an outback station southwest of Daly Waters, with the owners now offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to the return of the livestock.

Police are still investigating the theft after the animals were reported stolen from Murranji Station in July.

The station was sold in March to Bunderra Cattle Co, a company owned by the Pickersgill family, for about $23m with 12,500 cattle included in the sale.

The family, who also own eight cattle properties in Central QLD, noticed they were about 1450 short during a headcount at Murranji in July and reported it to police.

Owner Kevin Pickersgill said they suspected about 800 weaners had also been taken.

 

The Northern Territory's Murranji Station was sold to Bunderra Cattle Co for about $23m Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property
The Northern Territory's Murranji Station was sold to Bunderra Cattle Co for about $23m Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property

 

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He suspects the cattle were taken some time between January and July.

"The missing cattle have been identified through the use of an advanced TSI system in conjunction with a thorough bang tail muster," Mr Pickersgill said.

"All together we think we've lost about $2 million worth.

"To move that number of cattle, you would have needed trucks which suggests a level of organisation.

"We're not going to let this go, which is why we're now offering a reward of up to a total amount of $250,000 to anyone giving information to Bunderra Cattle Co which leads to either the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of the 1450 cattle from Murranji Station, or the recovery and return of those cattle to the property."

Mr Pickersgill said most of the cattle would have a key symbol brand or ear tag.

 

 

Murranji Station, near Daly Waters, covers 447,500 hectares. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property
Murranji Station, near Daly Waters, covers 447,500 hectares. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property

 

NT Cattlemen's Association chief executive Ashley Manicaros said the frequency of incidents involving the theft of cattle seemed to be increasing.

Mr Manicaros said having a specialist police stock squad to assist with thefts like this would offer the industry a direct point of contact.

However, Police Minister Nicole Manison said this kind of criminal offending would be best dealt with by police in the first instance.

Mr Manicaros said the NTCA had developed a Territory Livestock Ranger concept to be the initial start point for any theft complaints.

 

Cattle on Murranji Station. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property
Cattle on Murranji Station. Picture: Supplied by RuralCo Property

"We presented the concept to the Police Minister Nicole Mansion, the Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, senior commissioned police officers and the NT Police Association," he said.

"The concept was certainly embraced, but it will require a change in thinking and legislation for it to occur, and at this point, there does not seem to be a commitment to solving this issue."

The NTCA costed their 16-Ranger proposal at $5m, with funding coming from the delivery of motor vehicle registration services to pastoral properties and indigenous communities.

Responses to the reward offer must be provided on or before December 18, 2020 by contacting kevin@pickersgillgroup.com.au or 0408 827 364 and must state in full a name, address and contact details.

 

Originally published as $2m worth of cattle reported stolen from NT station


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