A MAN who organised for a neighbour’s steer to be slaughtered after it strayed on to his Tablelands property and stayed there for three years has been charged.
Police from the Major and Organised Crime Squad Rural were called to a property in Tumoulin for a suspected Cattle Stealing offence on Saturday.
Inquires revealed that a Brahman Steer had strayed from a nearby property back in 2015 and joined the Tumoulin man’s herd.
A police spokeswoman said the land owners were unable to agree on how to best return the steer to its rightful owner, and could not agree on whether agistment payments should be made.
The Tumoulin man then arranged for the animal to be shot and butchered so he could take the meat as payment for feeding costs.
The steer’s owner was nearby at the time and observed the beast being butchered and called police.
A 67-year-old Tumoulin man and a 20-year-old Moomin man were both charged with stealing an animal that is stock and killing an animal with intent to steal.
They are due to face the Atherton Magistrates Court on March 6.
A police spokeswoman said straying stock remained the property of the original owner regardless of time or any costs other landowners made incur.