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3,000 abandoned cattle are second offence: graziers

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 18 February 2005

The West Australian Pastoralists and Graziers Association claims that for the second time in a year, cattle on a station owned by an Aboriginal corporation have been abandoned and left to die.

More than 500 cattle have been found dead at Windidda Station, which is 200 kilometres east of Wiluna in the northern Goldfields.

Another 2,500 cattle have been found in a poor condition.

RSPCA inspectors have had to put down another 30 cows, horses and camels.

Agriculture Minister Kim Chance has asked the Pastoral Lands Board to take control of the station, which was found abandoned.

Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Barry Court says it is disappointing the station and its stock have been neglected twice by the same Aboriginal corporation.

"The only way if it's happened two years in a row would be to de-stock the property and the management would not be able to manage cattle stations again under these conditions," Mr Court said.

Under the new Animal Welfare Act, companies can face fines of up to half-a-million dollars and five years in jail.

Recovery costs

The RSPCA estimates it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to water and move the remaining cattle.

Spokeswoman Kelly Oversby says the recovery costs will be huge.

"It is a large-scale operation and it could cost up in the vicinity of a quarter-of-a-million dollars," she said.

"However, the stock is worth about a million dollars, so a lot of the costs will be recuperated through sale of the stock."

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