Drought bites hard for cattle owners as stock removed
PROPERTY owners who had malnourished cattle seized by authorities at Nana Glen this week say they did "the best they could" to maintain their stock while plagued by drought conditions.
Maurice and Margaret O'Connell watched on from outside their Battery Rd property as the RSPCA, Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services and police served notice and seized around 78 Angus cattle on Monday.
The condition of the stock was so bad some of the cattle had reportedly died on the property.
Acknowledging the "poor condition" of the cattle, a distraught Mrs O'Connell said the family had paid for extra feed to be delivered to the property.
"Some of the cattle are out of nick, we accept that, but we have told them that is because of the drought and they are not accepting our situation," Mrs O'Connell said.
"We have been giving them extra feed, which our neighbours will attest to."
She said the Department of Primary Industries took action after long-standing discussions with Maurice's late brother Vincent, who lived on the property and tended to the stock prior to his death in September.
The decision to remove the stock was made by a livestock welfare panel.
"We could not stand by and watch these animals suffer any longer," NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth said.
"The owners have failed to comply with two official warning notices issued in September and October, to provide adequate feed for the livestock on the property or alternatively to sell the animals.
"There was evidence of a dozen carcases of dead animals on the property and bones from many more."
Loaded onto trucks, the surviving cattle have been put on pasture to be sold at market.
Mr Roth said the owners would receive the proceeds of the sale after costs and had been offered assistance through the Rural Support Worker Program.