Driver ticked off

A GOOLMANGAR man went to great lengths to illegally smuggle a horse into NSW when he didn't have to.

He drove a vehicle with the horse in the back through a NSW Department of Primary Industries checkpoint near Tweed Heads and dodged several of the organisation's roadside cameras before being spotted by one at Chinderah last Saturday.

The checkpoint and cameras aim to stop cattle ticks moving from Queensland into NSW.

"The driver had covered up the number plates because he was aware that the cameras were there and he tried to go on the other side of the road," Department of Primary Industries regional veterinary officer Paul Freeman said.

"There is a requirement that any animal that can carry cattle ticks has to be checked. Most people are aware of it and we've generally got good compliance but you get some people who think they're special.

"The funny thing about this story is the horse came from a tick-free part of Queensland, so he never had to take the steps he did. All he had to do was ring up and let us know."

A Department of Primary Industries worker later saw the suspect vehicle drive past the organisation's cattle tick headquarters in Wollongbar.

Mr Freeman said the driver admitted to avoiding the checkpoint and cameras. He was fined $550.

Mr Freeman said there was an imminent threat that Queensland cattle ticks could infest NSW and he urged people to contact the Department of Primary Industries if they intended bringing animals across the border.



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