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500 cattle found dead on abandoned WA property

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 17 February 2005

About 500 cattle have been found dead on a pastoral lease owned by an Aboriginal corporation in the northern Goldfields in Western Australia.

RSPCA inspectors have been at Windidda station near Wiluna since the weekend, providing assistance to about 2,500 other cattle.

State Agriculture Minister Kim Chance says only two of the station's 13 watering points were operational and another 30 animals had to be put down.

Mr Chance says the animals have been neglected and the station was found abandoned.

He says moves are under way to find the owners, although it is proving difficult.

"The lease is owned by an Aboriginal corporation although the precise identity of the corporation is somewhat obscure," Mr Chance said.

Mr Chance says it is a disgrace the cattle have been abandoned.

"We understand they are off the station on law business but it just seems as though there's no provision made for the animals prior to the people's departure," he said.

"Nor is it apparent that any management has been put in place to account for their absence from the station."

The RSPCA has been trucking water into the station to save the abandoned animals.

RSPCA spokesperson Kelly Oversby says it is the worst case of neglect seen in WA.

"It just seems to be a simple case of neglect and mismanagement," she said.

"It seems that a lease has been handed out to somebody who doesn't have the qualifications to run the station of this size."

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