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Stealing Cattle or Killing Cattle With Intent to Steal

Stealing Cattle or Killing Cattle With Intent to Steal is an offence under section 126 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove that you either:

  1. You stole cattle, or
  2. You wilfully killed cattle with intent to steal its carcass, skin or any other part

To ‘steal’ is to dishonestly take the property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it.

There must some physical movement of the cattle, and the intention to permanently deprive must be formed at the time of taking rather than at some later time.

‘Cattle’ includes a horse, mare, gelding, colt, foal, filly, ass, mule, bull, cow, ox, steer, heifer, calf, ram, ewe, sheep, lamb, pig, goat, deer, alpaca, llama, vicuna, camel, or dromedary, and every hybrid or cross thereof.

‘Wilful’ means intentional.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Claim of right, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the cattle.

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