When Cindy Kirby noticed a highland cattle marketed on social media, she jumped in and took the chance to buy a few of her cuddly companions.
- Demand for upland cattle results in a rise in on-line scams
- A cow and a calf will be value over $15,000
- Rural Police say consumers ought to do their analysis and seek the advice of with respected brokers earlier than shopping for
She waited 12 months for the cows to reach however mentioned the animals had been effectively suited to her cattle property close to Springor, about 330 kilometers west of Rockhampton.
“I simply wished to deliver one thing to the brand new era, the little ones, I feel,” Kirby mentioned.
“And they’re lovely and delicate.”
With their shaggy locks and mild nature, Scottish Highland cattle shortly turned often known as the social media stars of the bush.
Ms Kirby mentioned her engaging look has seen the animal soar in recognition, significantly amongst beginner growers.
However the breed is just not very talked-about amongst farmers, scammers have additionally seen.
Kirby mentioned she needed to navigate a market full of pretend advertisements to seek out her cattle.
“I used to be going to speak to a scammer for the day not less than,” she mentioned.
“I feel you have obtained that prime demand and it is easy for these scammers to infiltrate and mix in with the general public.”
She mentioned the “rush” to get livestock means individuals are turning into extra susceptible to scams as a result of potential consumers are sometimes prepared to pay cash for animals they have not seen.
“It is as arduous to seek out as hen enamel, so that you’re prepared to place in a deposit since you assume another person goes to take it,” Kirby mentioned.
“Sadly, there are fairly just a few individuals who have both pushed and gone to select them up or sat, ready for a truck to reach, that by no means got here.”
Social media stars
Caroline Keynes, Queensland consultant for the Australian Highland Cattle Affiliation, mentioned the breed has seen an increase in curiosity as cute cattle dominate social media.
“They’re smaller, they do not want a variety of area and so they do not want a variety of meals,” mentioned Ms Keynes.
“It is an ideal match for somebody who has perhaps 10 acres and so they simply need a few pretty animals to maintain the garden and look fairly.
“Its recognition is already taking off in that enviornment.”
Ms Keynes mentioned the rising recognition of the breed has additionally led to greater costs, which implies those that have fallen sufferer to scams have been dropping out considerably.
“You are searching for about $15,000 for a registered cow and calf,” she mentioned.
“Somebody referred to as me a few weeks in the past and he was actually scammed.
“Sadly, after you have paid for the animal or paid a deposit, there’ll normally be no refund for that cash.”
Ms Keynes runs the ‘Queensland Highland Cattlemen’ group on Fb, which has greater than 1,000 members who promote animals on the market.
She mentioned new consumers could also be susceptible to scams if they do not perceive the market.
“We’re one of many main breeders in Queensland, and perhaps half a dozen extra,” she mentioned.
“So folks begin with us and when folks cannot get what they need, they unfold their analysis extra broadly and that is once they turn out to be susceptible to scams.
“We solely have about 1,500 animals totally registered [in Australia].
“And that offers you an thought of how uncommon it’s.”
keep away from fraud
Ms Keynes mentioned that when folks understood the market, it was simpler to display for scams.
It tells new consumers to request a singular Nationwide Livestock Identification System (NLIS) quantity for the cow and a video of the animal strolling.
“Australian regulation says you need to have an NLIS card for all livestock, so I am asking for that quantity,” she mentioned.
“Then I order a video, it is easy to add an image, but it surely’s very arduous to be actual if you cannot image your animal strolling round.”
Workers Sergeant Paul Elliot, Workers Sergeant Paul Elliot, mentioned scammers may simply reap the benefits of a purchaser’s lack of information.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it in all probability is,” he mentioned.
“Consumers ought to be conscious that there are folks attempting to take cash from others.
“Examine your individual background, rent folks you understand, and do your individual checks on ear tags and project marks earlier than you attempt to make a purchase order.”
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