HEAT TAKES TOLL

Balonne Beacon - - FRONT PAGE - Dan Knowles

QUEENS­LAND gra­ziers could be forced to shoot their cat­tle as parts of the state are sav­aged by soar­ing tem­per­a­tures on top of an ex­tended drought.

AgForce cat­tle pres­i­dent Bim Struss said if the rain didn’t come soon, some gra­ziers would be faced with no op­tion but to shoot their cat­tle as the feed ran out and the an­i­mals grew too weak to be moved to market, putting them down for their own wel­fare.

Mr Struss said the dev­as­tat­ing de­ci­sion to eu­thanase could be forced on gra­ziers in south-east Queens­land ham­mered by the dry, early, soar­ing 40C-plus tem­per­a­tures and sold-out or hard to find fod­der and sup­ple­ments.

He said many op­er­a­tors in western Queens­land had al­ready de­stocked – sell­ing their cat­tle on while they could still be moved.

But he ex­pected oth­ers closer to the coast had held on in the hope of rain.

But with early heat mak­ing the dry con­di­tions worse, farm­ers would be left with no choice but to eu­thanase weak stock.

“We have an animal wel­fare re­spon­si­bil­ity to the cat­tle,” Mr Struss said.

“I haven’t heard of it yet in any quan­tity. But it’s not that far away if we get tem­per­a­tures in the 40Cs and dams are dry­ing up and grass is get­ting de­stroyed.

“There will be peo­ple who have to eu­thanase cat­tle.

“I would ex­pect be­fore Christ­mas peo­ple will have to eu­thanase cat­tle.

“A lot of peo­ple have made the big de­ci­sion and moved their cat­tle but some peo­ple in ar­eas have ex­pected rain and not got it.”

Mitchell gra­zier and AgForce gen­eral pres­i­dent Grant Maud­s­ley said parts of south­ern Queens­land were very dry, with his prop­erty get­ting just 15cm of rain in 12 months when it av­er­aged 50cm.

He said he, like other gra­ziers, had de­stocked and saved his pad­docks for the rain that would even­tu­ally come.

He said ar­eas roughly north of a line from Townsville to Mt Isa had re­ceived good rain and were hav­ing a bet­ter year.

It comes as Bris­bane looks set to en­dure its dri­est Septem­ber on record, hav­ing recorded its first rain­fall last Fri­day.

An af­ter­noon thun­der­storm broke the two-month-long dry spell which had seen only 5mm of rain fall in Bris­bane since July 20.

Fol­low­ing this, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has fore­cast a sunny week in Bris­bane and the south-west, with a low level of pre­cip­i­ta­tion.

Weather­zone me­te­o­rol­o­gist Graeme Brit­tain said con­di­tions came to­gether last week, pro­vid­ing Bris­bane’s first real sum­mer af­ter­noon thun­der­storm.

PHOTO: LYN­DON MECHIELSEN

DROUGHT RE­LIEF: The Bur­rum­but­tock Hay Run­ners’ huge con­voy of 250 prime movers and 400 trail­ers com­plete their 1860km run, haul­ing $6 mil­lion worth of hay to Il­fra­combe, east of Lon­greach, to start un­load­ing for dis­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal drought-af­fected gra­ziers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.