NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is calling on the public to help identify the driver of a vehicle towing a horsefloat which illegally crossed the NSW-Queensland border at Tweed Heads.
Director Agricultural Compliance with NSW DPI, Dr Andrew Sanger, said images taken by the NSW DPI camera surveillance system at Chinderah clearly shows the driver has gone to great effort to avoid recognition and detection.
“The vehicle’s registration plates have been intentionally covered, the driver has hidden his face with a hat and the movement was in the early hours of the morning,” Dr Sanger said.
“The driver has failed to meet requirements for bringing livestock into NSW from Queensland which involves stopping at the border to be checked for cattle ticks.
“Cattle ticks are endemic in parts of Queensland and the NSW Government has regulations to ensure horses, cattle and other livestock do not move freely out of tick-infected Qld into NSW.
“The ticks, some of which carry the deadly tick fever parasite, can attach to livestock and if the livestock are brought into NSW without inspection or treatment they can spread the parasite with costly consequences for the NSW cattle industries.”
Dr Sanger said the vehicle in the image had some distinguishing features including driving lights, a winch and rear bars behind the cab with rounded corners when it crossed the border at 3.30am last Thursday morning.
“The float appears to have a piece out of the number plate and a rusty or damaged roof,” he said.
“The horse in the float appears to be a buckskin working horse.”
Surveillance cameras operate around the clock on the seven traffic crossings between tick-infected coastal Queensland and NSW.
“Livestock vehicles which fail to stop at the border are identified and investigated,” Dr Sanger said.
“Offenders can be fined $550 for illegally bringing cattle or other livestock into NSW but in some cases a warning letter is appropriate where the driver has not intentionally breached the border requirements.”
NSW properties that become infested with cattle ticks must undergo a treatment program to eradicate the ticks which can take up to 18 months.
“DPI inspectors also monitor stock for cattle ticks at saleyards and abattoirs and treat all stock leaving Casino, Grafton, Murwillumbah and Lismore saleyards going to property,” Dr Sanger said.
Anyone intending to cross the NSW-Queensland border with horses, cattle or other livestock should contact NSW DPI on (07) 5536 4714 for advice and to make a booking.
Anyone with information about the vehicle or owner should contact NSW DPI on 6626 2201.