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Unlawfully Using Another’s Cattle

Unlawfully Using Another’s Cattle is an offence under Section 131 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You took and worked any cattle, or otherwise used cattle, or took cattle for the purposes of working or using it, or secreting or obtaining a reward for its return, or fraudulently branded or ear-marked cattle, or defaced brands or marks of cattle
  2. The cattle belonged to another, and
  3. You did not have the owner’s consent

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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