Iconic Aussie ranch to be sold due to ex­port ban

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD -

AUS­TRALIA’S best-known Out­back cat­tle ranch has been put on the mar­ket by an owner who yes­ter­day blamed the coun­try’s ban on live­stock ex­ports to In­done­sia for de­stroy­ing her liveli­hood.

The de­ci­sion to sell iconic Bullo River Sta­tion in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory is the lat­est ev­i­dence of the eco­nomic hard­ship grip­ping trop­i­cal Aus­tralian cat­tle coun­try since the govern­ment an­nounced on June 8 that live­stock ex­ports to In­done­sia were banned for up to six months be­cause of an­i­mal cru­elty con­cerns in In­done­sian slaugh­ter­houses.

The 160,000- hectare fam­ily- owned prop­erty was made fa­mous by ma­tri­arch Sara Hen­der­son, who wrote about it in six books in­clud­ing her best-sell­ing au­to­bi­og­ra­phy “From Strength to Strength,” pub­lished in 1993.

It told of her fam­ily’s strug­gle to man­age the re­mote and ex­pan­sive ranch — known in Aus­tralia as a cat­tle sta­tion — af­ter her Amer­i­can-born hus­band Char­lie Hen­der­son died in 1985. Sara Hen­der­son re­tired from ranch­ing be­fore she died in 2005, aged 68.

Her daugh­ter who now owns the ranch, Mar­lee Ranacher, said yes­ter­day that the ban was the last straw for her and other ranch­ers like her in north­ern Aus­tralia.

Ranacher said her ranch had not sold any cat­tle since the re­gion’s mon­soon sea­son set in Oc­to­ber last year.

She said she could not af­ford the diesel fuel needed dur­ing the dry sea­son to pump un­der­ground wa­ter into troughs for the cat­tle to drink. “I don’t know what else we can do but start shoot­ing them. I can’t stand there and watch them die of thirst,” she said.

“If there were any way I could change this de­ci­sion, I would.”

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