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Three arrested after investigation into illegal hunting

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Three people have been arrested following an investigation into illegal hunting in the Upper Hunter.

On Wednesday 20 April, teams from the Hunter Valley Rural Crime Investigations and NSW Department of Primary Industries Game Licencing Unit conducted proactive patrols of the Murrurundi and Little Jacks Creek areas, following reports of illegal hunting and other crimes in the region.

At about 6.45am, a SUV utility carrying a dog crate was detected allegedly trespassing and illegally hunting on private property at Merriwa Road, Little Jacks Creek.

Police stopped the ute and spoke to three male occupants, aged 15, 17 and 23.

Five hunting dogs were located within the dog cage, with four of those wearing hunting collars. Two of the dogs were not microchipped and were fitted with electronic shock collars.

Police searched the ute – which was unregistered – and seized knives, hunting collars, a GPS tracking unit, spotlights and various tools.

All three were arrested and taken to Muswellbrook Police Station.

The 23-year-old man from Belmore was charged with enter private land to hunt animal without owner consent, enter enclosed agricultural land accompanied by hunting dog, custody of knife in public place, have custody of non-prescribed electrical device (two counts), companion animal (other) not registered (two counts), and not identify companion animal as prescribed – other (two counts).

He was given conditional bail to appear at Muswellbrook Local Court on Tuesday 31 May.

The 17-year-old from Hunterview was charged with enter private land to hunt animal without owner consent, enter enclosed agricultural land accompanied by hunting dog, never licensed person drive vehicle on road, cause or permit use of unregistered vehicle on road, and custody of knife in public place.

He was given conditional bail to appear before a Children’s Court on Monday 30 May.

The 15-year-old boy from Singleton was released and will be issued with a youth caution for the offences of hunt game animal on private land without consent of owner, and enter enclosed agricultural land accompanied by hunting dog.

As investigations continue, landowners are urged to report any incidents of trespassing, illegal hunting, theft and malicious damage to local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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