POLICE are investigating the use of what appears to be a hidden camera on a property in the Matong district of southern NSW.
A sophisticated-looking camera, planted inside a piece of pipe and covered with leaves for camouflage, has been found near a lamb feedlot.
The camera was connected to a nearby mobile phone that was powered by a solar panel.
Landholder Wayne Hamblin, "Big Tree", Matong said the camera and phone were found last Sunday.
He said his son caught sight of what appeared to be a little "flash" on the camera or solar panel. When he went to investigate he unearthed the disturbing surveillance system.
It is not known how long the camera had been there for.
"It was unbelievable how it was disguised," Mr Hamblin said.
"There was a camera inside a PVC pipe and it had bark all over it and a piece of tufted dead grass on top, there was an aerial coming out of the tree," he said.
Mr Hamblin explained that the camera was possibly monitoring the movements of when someone was home or not.
He said the camera had been reported to police but there were no firm theories to back whether it had been set up by activists or potential criminals wanting to steal lambs.
Prime lambs are making good money at the moment and there could have been an opportunity to steal some that were finished and ready to go to market.
"I think someone was sussing out the feedlot to steal sheep," he said.
Mr Hamblin said it was important to get awareness out there to other landholders.
Southern zone rural crime prevention team coordinator, Detective Sergeant Damian Nott said the rural crime unit had taken on the investigation.
In light of recent protests, demonstrations, and unlawful entry to rural properties there has been heightened vigilance regarding activity from animal activists too.
He confirmed the incident but said inquiries were in the initial stages. He said rural crime investigators would also head to the Matong property this week as part of the investigations.