Please attribute to Senior Constable Hamish Caird, Darfield Police
Canterbury Police are aware of incidents of poaching on private properties and have been working hard to locate and hold offenders to account.
Police recently undertook a thorough investigation into a report of livestock being shot and killed from a public road using thermal optical equipment, near Darfield.
The alleged offender was identified through testing the fired projectiles, which were extracted from the animals, for their unique markings. The markings were able to be linked to the potential weapon used. This testing capability brought the investigation to a successful conclusion.
A 70-year-old man has been summoned to appear in court later this month on charges of ill-treatment of animals, theft of livestock and the reckless discharge of a firearm.
There are serious repercussions for poachers, with the penalty being a maximum of a $100,000 fine, plus up to two years in prison.
Unlawful hunting puts other people who may be in the area at risk and could have potentially fatal consequences.
Poaching can also be a catalyst for other crimes, such as damaging machinery and the theft of fuel.
Police would like to remind rural property owners to make security a priority. We urge people to keep in contact with your neighbours and let one another know if you see anything unusual. A lot of reported thefts are committed by opportunistic criminals.
Police would like to remind our rural communities that we are committed to investigating this type of offending. Police will use its ballistics, DNA and genomic testing capabilities to prevent crime and harm in rural communities, delivering the services that our communities expect and deserve.
If you see anything suspicious contact Police immediately on 111. Information can also be shared anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Issued by Police Media Centre