ONE of Australia’s most successful Poll Dorset Studs has had $100,000 worth of livestock stolen.
The Armstrong family at Marrar in southern NSW run the Armdale and Armdale Park Studs.
Garry Armstrong told The Rural that 85 ewes were taken from the property on the weekend of Royal Canberra Show. The event ran from February 22 to 24.
The Royal Canberra Show is a fixture on the calendar for the stud and plays a big role in promoting the genetics.
Mr Armstrong said it made him feel sick in the stomach to think that somebody may have taken into account that they were away.
The stud ewes, which were fitted with national livestock identification scheme (NLIS) tags were scanned in lamb, many were carrying twins, and had an estimated market value of $100,000.
Mr Armstrong said the enormity of the theft really hits home when he considers the flow on consequences. He said it wasn’t just the market value but also the genetic value.
Given their high potential it was also possible that these ewes would later be the dams of high-performing stud rams in years to come.
“They had all been preg tested the week before (they were stolen) and when we got the mob in to crutch them we noticed some were gone,” he said.
In addition to the NLIS tags the ewes were also fitted with a large identification tag which is similar to the ones used in cattle.
“They were all due to lamb in the next two to three weeks,” Mr Armstrong said.
In all there was a total of 530 in the mob that the ewes were taken from. Mr Armstrong also confirmed that they were running in one of the paddocks closer to the house.
It was possible that a set of cattle yards, in the paddock where the ewes were running, may have been used during the theft.
“It makes you sick in the guts and the income they could produce (in years to come) is big,” he said.
Mr Armstrong said he didn’t think the ewes would be sold on or make their way back through the saleyards.
He was sure someone would hold onto them for their genetic value. Mr Armstrong said if they were placed in the market they would be identifiable due to their quality.
Mr Armstrong said he reported the theft to rural crime investigators.