Stolen cattle devastates Roma grazier

STOLEN CATTLE: The stolen weaners are marked with the family's brand.
STOLEN CATTLE: The stolen weaners are marked with the family's brand. Contributed

A GRAZIER is hoping a small piece of evidence will help police identify the person who stole cattle from their property.

Gaylene Stanford and her husband Fred had 27 weaners stolen from their yards at Ardlui, 100 kilometres south of Roma over the weekend.

Gaylene said police found a small item on the ground at the cattle yards that has been taken into evidence.

"We don't know whether it was dropped on the ground or if it has fallen out of the truck but it's something abnormal that shouldn't have been there.

"We're hoping it might help to provide police with some information."

The steers and heifers are all marked with the family's brand and ear tagged, however Gaylene said the ear tags had probably been cut out and removed.

The cattle yards, located in the middle of their property, are not visible from the public access road and police have taken photos of tyre tracks that lead into and out of the property. Gaylene said despite the fact the tracks went east along Dilqui Rd, it could have been a decoy.

The tyre marks also show where a truck has reversed up to the loading ramp at the cattle yards.

Gaylene said her and her husband went to Wandoan overnight on Saturday to collect farm equipment. When they came home on Sunday the cattle in the yard were gone.

"It's got us baffled. I know it's only 27 head, but to us that's a lot.

"Police asked us if we told anyone about the weaners in the yard and I guess we did, but you don't know who's standing around listening to that conversation."

Police told Gaylene and Fred it was likely someone who knows them or knows their property.

"We rang our neighbours and they were so angry.

"We're in a great area down here where everybody helps each other.

"It's floored everyone," she said.

The Charbray Brahman weaners were being fed in the yards because of the extreme drought conditions the Stanfords are facing on their property.

"The stock we had in the yard, we had to wean them off our cows to keep their strength up and give the cattle a chance at life.

"You're doing it tough, trying to keep cattle alive and someone comes along and does this, it's so devastating," she said.

Gaylene said they have had to sell the majority of their cattle because of the drought.

"There's no herbage, we've got no feed, just dirt.

"We haven't had any good rain since the start of December when we had nearly two inches."

Police are urging anyone with any information regarding the person or persons responsible, including any information about the vehicle used, to contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  cattle theft rural crime stock squad