Cat­tle deaths in­ves­ti­gated

Countryman - - LIVESTOCK - Zach Relph

A his­toric pas­toral lease in north­ern WA is un­der an­i­mal wel­fare reg­u­la­tor in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter hun­dreds of cat­tle died from de­hy­dra­tion.

De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment co-or­di­nated a wel­fare in­spec­tion at Noonkan­bah Sta­tion, in south cen­tral Kim­ber­ley, on De­cem­ber 26 and 27 and con­firmed the live­stock deaths.

The to­tal death fig­ure re­mains un­known, with early es­ti­mates un­der­stood to be in the hun­dreds.

About 85 cat­tle have been eu­thanised.

WA Agri­cul­tural Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan con­firmed the de­part­ment’s live­stock com­pli­ance unit was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter at the Yungn­gora As­so­ci­a­tion-con­trolled pas­toral lease.

Aerial and on-ground in­spec­tions at Noonkan­bah, a sheep and cat­tle sta­tion be­tween Cam­ballin and Fitzroy Cross­ing, found water points were in­ac­ces­si­ble or not op­er­a­tional and re­quired ur­gent re­pairs.

Yungn­gora As­so­ci­a­tion is un­der­tak­ing the ur­gent in­fra­struc­ture re­pair and re­place­ment at a num­ber of key water points.

Yungn­gora chief ex­ec­u­tive Christo­pher Wilkin said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was is­sued three di­rec­tion no­tices by the State Gov­ern­ment on De­cem­ber 28, un­der the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act.

Mr Wilkin said be­fore the no­tices were given two con­trac­tors had been en­gaged at Noonkan­bah in a bid to rec­tify the wel­fare is­sue.

“(Yungn­gora) has been work­ing closely with and un­der ad­vice from the de­part­ment in a con­certed ef­fort to en­sure that im­me­di­ate and long-term sus­tain­able an­i­mal wel­fare is achieved,” he said.

“As these is­sues are un­der daily mon­i­tor­ing and in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing, the as­so­ci­a­tion will make no fur­ther com­ment.”

Re­cent rain­falls have helped al­le­vi­ate im­me­di­ate con­cerns for the re­main­ing cat­tle which have sur­vived.

Kim­ber­ley Pil­bara Cattlemen’s As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man David Stoate said an un­sea­son­ably late start to the wet sea­son could have caused the cat­tle deaths.

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

“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.”

Ms MacTier­nan called for all pas­toral­ists to be cau­tious of cat­tle feed and water sup­plies to avoid a sim­i­lar an­i­mal wel­fare dilemma.

“The de­part­ment’s team showed great ded­i­ca­tion work­ing over the Christ­mas pe­riod to re­spond to this very se­ri­ous an­i­mal wel­fare is­sue in a timely man­ner,” she said.

“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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.