THE WA Police, Main Roads and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Livestock Compliance Unit came together for a livestock theft operation at the Muchea Livestock Centre on Monday.
After recent forums about stock theft in WA there has been a more concentrated police effort to prevent and detect incidents of theft by holding random checks across the regions.
WA Police Detective Senior Sergeant Doug Stjepic said the operation at Muchea went well with “all organisations working in well together”.
No livestock were found to have been stolen and police “only found minor infringements” from drivers for overloaded trucks.
Truck drivers and livestock producers were surprised as they entered the centre and drove around to the delivery point to find Main Roads operating a pre-weighing system to ensure compliance with road safety regulations.
Those suspected of exceeding the weight specifications of their vehicle were directed to another point where they were checked more thoroughly and fines were issued if needed.
The operation ran from 11am to 5pm, in which time at least three trucks had been deemed overweight with drivers being directed to unload some of the stock before exiting to deliver to their destinations.
After passing through the pre-weighing area drivers were stopped by police who conducted registration and licence checks, as well as breath tests.
They also checked for stolen vehicles.
Once the vehicles were backed up to unload the sheep in preparation for the Tuesday sale, DPIRD inspectors checked waybills and National Vendor Declarations (NVD) forms, as well as National Livestock Identification System tags to ensure compliance and proper ownership of the animals.
“The objective of the operation was a combination of a road safety message about transporting stock properly, as well as prevention of livestock theft,” Detective Sergeant Stjepic said.
“Nothing major was found and in all we were really well received.
“People have been happy to have us out here.
“It has been a good partnership between all the agencies.”
DPIRD senior compliance officer Mike Donaghy, Bunbury, said it had been the “greatest collaboration of State Government resources in the livestock industry”.
“It’s something really positive with multiple agencies working together with industry and stakeholders for a positive outcome,” Mr Donaghy said.
“An important message is that every police officer is a stock inspector and DPIRD and WA Police are working on upskilling police officers to conduct high quality livestock vehicle inspections which include livestock identification and waybills."
* Read more about the operation - and farmer feedback - in this week's Farm Weekly.