Live­stock han­dling skill saluted

Broome Advertiser - - News - Cally Dupe

Three sta­tion hands from a cat­tle prop­erty 400km east of Broome have been crowned the win­ners of the third Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion Live­stock Han­dling Cup.

Ka­ly­eeda Sta­tion work­ers Hamish Bell, Amy John­ston and Emma Costello took out the prize af­ter com­plet­ing a se­ries of cat­tle han­dling chal­lenges on Sat­ur­day.

Now in its third year, the cup is be­lieved to be the only one of its kind in Aus­tralia. The full-day com­pe­ti­tion puts the stock han­dling skills of WA’s north­ern pas­toral in­dus­try mem­bers to the test.

The fo­cus is on an­i­mal wel­fare and low-stress han­dling, with teams re­quired to de-stress and set­tle cat­tle be­fore mov­ing and draft­ing them through a se­ries of ob­sta­cle cour­ses.

There was also a ver­bal ques­tion and an­swer sec­tion that fo­cused on an­i­mal wel­fare.

Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man David Stoate con­grat­u­lated the win­ners.

“The event is a great way to bring in­dus­try to­gether and share in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est ad­vances in an­i­mal health, wel­fare and land man­age­ment prac­tices,” he said. “It’s all rel­e­vant to the north­ern pas­toral in­dus­try in WA.”

It was a change of venue for the cup this year af­ter two years at Yar­rie Sta­tion, 250km from Port Hed­land. Or­gan­is­ers chose the Sand­fire Road­house, about half way be­tween Port Hed­land and Broome, for this year’s event.

The pre­sen­ta­tion was pre­ceded by a full-day an­i­mal health, wel­fare and land man­age­ment work­shop at the road­house.

The in­au­gu­ral work­shop in­cluded biose­cu­rity, nu­tri­tion and the lat­est in pain-re­lief tri­als and man­ag­ing cat­tle dis­eases.

The cup was the orig­i­nal idea of Annabelle Cop­pin, KPCA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber and the owner-man­ager of Yar­rie Sta­tion.

She wanted to cre­ate an event cel­e­brat­ing and build­ing pride in sta­tion teams by demon­strat­ing the art and skill in­volved in low­stress stock han­dling and stock­man­ship.

“There is no other event I am aware of that fo­cuses on the abil­ity and the many skills re­quired in low-stress stock han­dling and stock­man­ship,” she said.

“This is the en­gine room of every suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able cat­tle op­er­a­tion.”

The cup was hosted by last year’s win­ner, Man­dora Sta­tion.

Sta­tion man­ager Ben Mills said the event was a “great way to show­case the in­dus­try and the pos­i­tive work it is do­ing in the an­i­mal wel­fare space”.

“We strongly be­lieve in us­ing low-stress stock­man­ship tech­niques in ev­ery­thing we do on the sta­tion,” he said.

“We have seen the ef­fects of these tech­niques on our herd. The cat­tle be­come calmer, eas­ier and safer to han­dle, they load bet­ter onto trucks and lose less weight dur­ing trans­port. It is con­sis­tently proven to be worth the time and ef­fort from both an an­i­mal wel­fare and eco­nomic view point.”

Pic­ture: Camille Camp

Ka­ly­eeda Sta­tion work­ers Hamish Bell, Amy John­ston and Emma Costello.

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