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Those responsible for shooting five domesticated goats, one of which took five days to die, are being warned by police to expect hefty penalties.
The officer in charge of the Omarama anti-poaching scheme, Constable Nayland Smith, said an investigation was under way to identify suspected poachers who allegedly shot five Boer-cross goats on Waitiri Station, at Nevis Bluff in the Kawarau Gorge.
Const Smith said the goats were not wild and were the property of the station owner. It appeared the goats were shot from the road and left to die.
''The farmer reported that one of these goats had been shot in the jaw and left injured, unable to feed or drink for approximately five days until he found it and was was forced to put the animal down.''
Const Smith said the culprits could be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act, which carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment and a $25,000 fine, as well as breaching the Arms Act.
Any members of the public who may have seen suspicious behaviour in the Nevis Bluff area between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve can contact Omarama police on (03) 438-9559.