Poachers go on a costly killing spree
INTERNATIONAL endurance rider Gayle Holmes takes her horses into the forestry just west of Gympie two or three times a day as part of her training schedule, and knows "by face" most of the droughtmaster cows that graze beside the road there.
Imagine her horror and devastation on Sunday morning when she stumbled upon the grisly remains of three of those stud breeders scattered over half a kilometre of road reserve, the callously discarded body of one of their calves, cut from its mother's uterus and thrown in the grass to die.
The scene illustrated the brutal reality of poaching: stud breeders worth $2500 a head, some heavy with calf, shot with a bow and arrow, carved up on a forestry road and dragged behind a car by a rope around the neck.
Ms Holmes believes some of the cattle were dragged for up to 2km before they died.
The sickened owner of the cattle said yesterday he had leased forestry land for years to run his breeders and this had not been the first time poachers had stolen his livelihood.
Kingaroy Stock Squad Detective Sergeant Mark Ferling said it was the first time in 10 years of investigating poaching that no guns had been used - just bows and arrows, ropes and knives.
He said the deer roaring season had drawn the poachers out.
He urged graziers to help catch them by installing surveillance cameras, and urged the public to report any suspicious behaviour or leads on the poachers' identity to the stock squad on 41604900 or Crimestoppers on 1800333000.
If caught poachers face fines of up to $3000.