The owner of a heifer that was slaughtered on a farm near Feilding is warning poachers that the meat is tainted.
The remains of the year-old heifer, last seen alive at 6pm on Monday, were found by the farm owner near Bell Road East at 7.30am yesterday.
The farmer, who has been "sickened" by the event, felt the need to warn the poachers that the heifer had recently been drenched and was in a withholding period, which meant its meat was tainted and not fit for human consumption.
The owner, who did not want to be named, said the culprits probably entered the farm by the Kiwitea Stream.
"This was a planned event as the stock were not visible from the stream bed," she said.
"I was sickened when I saw the remains and was in momentary disbelief. You have to be pretty brazen to do this."
She said she now felt uncomfortable that her family property had been staked out before the crime.
The property has two homes on it, both occupied by family members, who did not hear anything during the night. Their dogs did not react to any noise.
"They took all the good stuff, such as the backstrap, rump and sirloin, and left the remains in the form of a stash, which appeared like they may have planned to return and collect," the woman said.
A Feilding home-kill butcher who saw the remains said it appeared that the slaughter was carried out by an amateur, possibly a hunter.
The head has not been found, but the owners assumed the heifer was shot first.
The heifer weighed about 320 kilograms and was worth about $600, and the slaughter and removal would have taken more than one person, the owner said.
About 50kg of meat was taken, possibly in backpacks.
"If they had taken a vehicle up the stream they would have taken it all," she said.
Senior Sergeant Nigel Allan, of Feilding, said the crime would be investigated.
"It is odd, partly because of its location, as the offender has accessed the property via a riverbed," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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