Spotlight on illegal hunting. Pig hunters fined $3,253

By Melissa Blewitt.

Local Police conducted Operation ‘Spotlight’ in the Condobolin and Tottenham areas over the June long weekend.
The purpose of the operation was to target illegal hunting and trespassing onto private property as well as compliance with the Companion Animals Act with regard to proper identification of hunting dogs.
Local Police were assisted by Rural Crime Investigators from Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee Local Area Commands and a ranger from the Lachlan Shire Council.
Over the period, Police stopped about 20 vehicles that were hunting in the region.
The majority of the vehicles stopped were found to be doing the right thing. One notable exception was at 9pm on the Saturday night. Police stopped a vehicle near the Tottenham `five ways’ intersection. The vehicle had seven dogs on the back and had two dead pigs hanging from the side of the crate.
After stopping the vehicle a strong smell of cannabis was evident. A 23 year old Nyngan man was subsequently searched and a small amount of cannabis located in his possession.
He was issued with a cannabis caution notice. The 23 year old male driver and a 24 year old female passenger, also from Nyngan, were spoken to and the dogs were scanned for identification microchips. None were found to be properly identified. The pig carcases hanging from the side of the vehicle were dripping blood onto the road surface.
The trio were issued with fines totalling $3,253 for offences including possessing unregistered dogs, having an unsecured dog on the rear of the vehicle, being in possession of dogs that were not properly identified (not micro-chipped) and for allowing liquid/waste material to drip onto a road surface.

Bringing home the bacon

Bedgerabong’s first youth show and pig sale was a huge success.

• Australian Pig Breeders Association member Craig Beaumont and President Richard Cole. Photo courtesy of the Forbes Advocate

By Melissa Blewitt

Bedgerabong’s first youth show and pig sale was a huge success.

More than 150 people attended the inaugural pig sale and 96 handlers participated in the youth show.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” organiser and Australian Pig Breeders Association President Richard Cole said.

“We [the organisers] could not be happier with how the students responded and the results of the pig sale speak for themselves.”

Condobolin High School, Ungarie Central School, Forbes High School, Coonabarabran High School, Brisbane Water’s High School, Yass High School, Girilambone Central School and two students from Distance Education attended the event.

The students converged on the Bedgerabong Showground to wash, prepare and parade pigs late on 11 June.

“The response from students was unbelievable. There is not much opportunity for students to handle pigs in a school environment such as an ag plot,” Mr Cole said.

“It [the show] was about raising the profile of pig farming and breeding.

“The aim of the event was to showcase the pig industry and get information out there that there are many aspects young people can become involved in.

“There is also a misconception among some people that pig farmers mistreat their animals. This is simply not true and if we can get the younger generation involved and to spread a positive message, then that will bode well for our industry into the future.”

Bedgerabong’s first youth show and pig sale was a huge success.

• Damian Byrne, Condobolin High School’s Michelle Webb and Heather Cole at the pig sale. Photo courtesy of the Forbes Advocate

The event is planned for another two years and Mr Cole said schools had already asked him for dates, as they wanted to mark it on their school calendars.

As for the pig sale, held on 12 June, that could only be described as “outstanding”, according to Mr Cole.

“It was the best and dearest pig sale I have ever been to,” he said.

“The quality of pigs on offer was outstanding, and I think the district wanted to make sure they were able to secure stock.

“The weather also played a part, I think. It was such a great day, full of sunshine. We were extremely lucky with the weather over both days.

“It was so great to see so many quality pigs heading to district farms.”

A total of 69 pigs were sold for an average price of $1,045.65, with 50 bidders registering on the day.

The top price paid was $2400, which was paid twice for two boars.

One Large White boar was bought by Paul and Emma Baxter of Forbes, and sold by MC ML and SM Blenkiron from South Australia, while the other was purchased by Kevin McMahon of Tullamore and sold by C and G Dockerill of Pinedock Stud, Casino.

Buyers on the day came from Condobolin, Tullamore, Manildra, Bogan Gate, West Wyalong, Binya, Sydney, Cumnock and Dubbo. The next two show and sales will be held at the Bedgerabong Showground. Mr Cole said numerous dates and times were under discussion.

“We definitely learned a lot, and we will look at what would be the best time to host the events further down the track,” he said.

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