‘What next?’: Cattle duffing cripples Queensland graziers

Dan James calls for Queensland Police to tackle cattle duffing


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Tracey Moseling from Brovinia Station with husband Adrian, children Lawson and Justice, and mother Joe James.

Tracey Moseling from Brovinia Station with husband Adrian, children Lawson and Justice, and mother Joe James.

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More than 100 cattle have been stolen from Brovinia Station in the past 12 months.

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Horseman Dan James is calling for urgent action against cattle duffers after his family’s small business was crippled by thieves. 

Mr James, a world-renowned horseman currently based in the United States, was hit with the scale of the problem when he travelled back to Queensland for his father’s funeral.

His family packed up and left their station in the Burnett region after 110 cattle were stolen in the space of just 12 months. 

"I came home for my father's funeral, he was 99, and the decision was made by my brother-in-law and sister that if they didn't take action in getting all the cattle off the place, this would continue to happen," Mr James said. 

Tracey and Adrian Moseling are drumming up support to stamp out cattle duffing.

Tracey and Adrian Moseling are drumming up support to stamp out cattle duffing.

Powerless to stop cattle duffers picking off stock from their property Brovinia, Mr James said his sister Tracey Moseling and her husband Adrian had instead set off droving in the hope of breaking even.  

"Given the amount they have lost this year, and after mustering and realising they had come up short, they realised they only way they can break even was to pack up and leave with the cattle," he said. 

"They've left the property. Basically walked off. They took the cattle and got a droving permit.

"Now they are trying to put some weight on the cattle so they can sell them to pay off debts."

After laying complaints with Queensland police to no avail, Mr James said his family was left wondering "what next?".

"My family have called and reported it every time they've had cattle missing," he said. 

"What now? What else happens?"

To highlight the situation of his family and others in the region, Mr James posted a video to social media calling on others to come forward with similar stories of cattle duffing or poddy dodging.

The video has been viewed more than 35,000 times and has attracted messages of support from others who have have had to cope with stock thieves.

Currently based in the United States,  Mr James said he was astonished to hear how big a problem cattle theft was in Queensland. 

"The biggest surprise to me is the number of people who have come forward with similar stories of how many cattle are stolen throughout Queensland," he said.

"I didn't even realise that it was something that was going on. Seeing and hearing other people reaching out, people that went bankrupt - it will continue happening until there is something done about it."

There were questions about whether Queensland police had all the resources they needed to stamp out the problem, Mr James said. 

"What things can the Queensland police change to stop this.

"The other thing is that, when it comes to sale yards and slaughterhouses, what steps could be done differently to stamp it out."

Last year Queensland police announced a major overhaul of the unit known as the stock squad, shifting its focus to broader rural crime issues such as drug trafficking. 

 “This came after identifying a change in Queensland crime trends which affect our rural areas as much as they affect our metropolitan areas,”  Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said at the time.

“So whilst we still do stock theft, stock related crime, and agricultural industry-related crime, we also have to look at disrupting and gathering intel on other forms of major and organised crime like ice traffickers, pedophilia, online fraud, and online child exploitation.”

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said the force was currently investigating two complaints related to cattle theft, but could not comment further. 

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