Hun­dreds of cat­tle die of de­hy­dra­tion at sta­tion

Broome Advertiser - - News -

About 85 se­verely de­hy­drated cat­tle had to be put down and hun­dreds more were found al­ready dead at a pas­toral sta­tion in the Kim­ber­ley.

The Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment con­ducted aerial and on-ground in­spec­tions of the Kim­ber­ley re­gion prop­erty on De­cem­ber 26 and 27, and found water points were in­ac­ces­si­ble or re­quired ur­gent re­pairs.

The depart­ment is work­ing with sta­tion management to en­sure the wel­fare of re­main­ing cat­tle and re­cent rain­fall has helped al­le­vi­ate im­me­di­ate con­cerns, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said.

A lo­cal con­trac­tor will con­duct daily aerial in­spec­tions and the depart­ment’s live­stock com­pli­ance unit is in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

“All pas­toral prop­er­ties need to be vig­i­lant in en­sur­ing cat­tle have ac­cess to feed and water, es­pe­cially given the hot con­di­tions and lack of sur­face water in the north this sea­son,” Ms MacTier­nan said.

The chair­man of the Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion David Stoate said the un­sea­son­ably late start to the wet sea­son could have been a fac­tor in the deaths. “Dur­ing the nor­mal wet sea­son they (the sta­tion) would have got­ten away with it, but that’s no ex­cuse,” Mr Stoate said.

“The Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion com­mends the swift ac­tion of the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­try and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment in re­spond­ing to the re­ported an­i­mal wel­fare is­sue on a pas­toral sta­tion in the Kim­ber­ley.

“It is a dif­fi­cult job to en­sure that all live­stock in the Kim­ber­ley have ac­cess to feed and water in a chal­leng­ing wet sea­son such as we are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

“Pas­toral­ists meet this chal­lenge on a daily ba­sis so it is dis­ap­point­ing that this sta­tion has fallen short of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion is dis­mayed that an­i­mal wel­fare on one par­tic­u­lar pas­toral lease has been com­pro­mised in this way.

“We are pleased to see an­i­mal wel­fare con­cerns are be­ing ad­dressed and await the re­sponse of the live­stock com­pli­ance unit.”

The un­sea­son­ably late start to the wet sea­son could have been a fac­tor in the deaths, Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion’s David Stoate says.

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