WHEN Leesa and Carmine Di Campli and their dogs Frank and Luna went hunting for truffles on Sunday, the last thing they expected to find was the truffiere to be baited.
The Di Camplis own Fish River Truffles, and for years have been harvesting without incident, but sadly that all changed on the weekend.
Mr Di Campli said as far as he knows, while truffle dog baiting is common in Europe, it’s the first instance here in Australia.
“It happens in Europe all the time, they kill the dogs at the beginning of the season, people don’t want other people finding truffles,” he said.
He said while the property has been harvesting truffles for the best part of a decade, there has never been a problem until now.
“Through winter we have harvested weekly. Yesterday (on Sunday) we had our harvest and found the entire truffiere had been baited for our dogs.
“There was meat all over the place,” he said.
Mr Di Campli said one of the dogs got sick on Sunday night, but thankfully has since recovered.
He is now left wondering what the motive is behind the attack.
“We don’t know if it’s malicious towards us, or someone getting into our truffles.
“But it’s pathetic.”
He said his only concern was for the dogs.
“We don’t want our dogs hurt,” he said.
The incident has been reported to police, and the farm is being monitored remotely to ensure the safety of the dogs in the future.
“The safety of the animals is the most important thing to us, apart from the fact someone is trespassing the dogs being harmed is our biggest issue.
Mr Di Campli said he would like to think if someone had an issue about the business they would take it up with him.
“Don’t touch the dogs,” he said.
“We’ve been here for five years and it’s the first time the dogs have been targeted.
“It was terrible to come out here to do a hunt and find meat all over the place,” he said.
While you’re here
You can now receive online headlines from the Western Advocate delivered straight to your inbox at 6am six days a week. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all news across the Bathurst region, sign up here.