A drover is under investigation after a sting by police in the Riverina.
Inquiries on Tuesday allegedly uncovered a gun, ammunition, hundreds of unexpected cattle and allegations of animal cruelty.
Close to 1000 head were counted about 40 kilometres southwest of West Wyalong.
The drovers’ permit was for 396 head, according to officers from the Riverina’s Rural Crime Prevention team.
Local Land Services had teamed up with police to initiate Operation Roadside on July 24, after a number of concerns were raised about the movement of cattle.
Inquiries are continuing in a number of compliance issues, according to police.
Riverina Local Land Services manager Rob Kelly said the severity of the reports had triggered the large-scale response.
“The permit holder was sent an official warning letter in May detailing the reported non-compliance,” Mr Kelly said.
“(This) included cattle being left behind, stock not being locked up appropriately at night and no signage to warn approaching vehicles that there are cattle on the road.”
Mr Kelly said local land owners had shared concerns about the mob being larger than permitted.
“But to have found an additional 600 stock is appalling,” he said.
“This type of behaviour is a very serious offence as it impinges on our customer’s rights to use the TSRs.”
The NSW Police Force Rural Crime Prevention Team attended the audit to assist in the mustering, scanning and assessment of almost 1000 cattle on Tuesday.
Team coordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside said rural crimes were serious offences and urged the community to work with police.
“This operation is just one example of how officers, working together with landholders and local agencies can achieve results.
“I strongly encourage the community to continue raising their concerns with police, so we can proactively target those that choose to threaten the safety and livelihood of others.”