RURAL crime detectives are searching for illegal hunters who stabbed and killed a pet pig and dumped it in a paddock.
Oxley investigators were alerted after the pig, which they believe was a domestic pet that had been hand-reared, was found dead in a paddock off the Thunderbolts Way at Walcha on July 25.
Police said the pig suffered two stab wounds, and they believe it was killed on the night of July 24 - the day before it was discovered.
Detective Sergeant Bennett Nolan said a closer examination of the pig revealed the stab wounds which he said was "consistent with having been 'stuck' with a knife, which is common technique used to dispatch feral pigs during hunting activities".
Now, officers are appealing for public help to find those behind the savage killing, warning of serious penalties.
"Unlawful activity such as this undermines those legitimate hunters who do the right thing. I would urge anyone who may know of who was involved to come forward with any information you may have," he said.
"There is no sport in killing a hand-reared domestic pig.
"Unlawfully killing livestock is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment and is treated as a serious criminal offence by police and by the courts."
Anyone with information is urged to contact rural crime officers or Walcha police on 6777 2244.