Cattle deaths at third Aboriginal station

Jenne Brammer and Josh ChiatThe West Australian
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
Camera IconAgriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan. Credit: Countryman

A third animal welfare issue has emerged on an indigenous-run WA pastoral station, however cattle deaths have been minimised after early involvement from State Government officials.

The latest issue occurred in the Goldfields, where seasonal conditions have been extremely dry.

Although the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan remained tight-lipped on further detail, industry sources said the issue occurred at Pinjin station, which had endured tough conditions.

Pinjin representatives could not be contacted for comment.

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Ms MacTiernan said in State Parliament last week DPIRD was notified of a potential issue at a station in the Goldfields area and saw problems when it attended the site.

“We are not talking about a huge number of cattle,” she said.

Separate reports confirm numbers of dead cattle were fewer than 20.

“(DPIRD) has taken action to work with the proprietors of the station. I understand that now a contract musterer has been engaged and we expect that muster to be completed by the end of next week.”

The Goldfields issue follows about 1600 livestock dying or being euthanised by DPIRD across Yandeyarra reserve in the Pilbara and Noonkanbah Station in the Kimberley since late last year.

Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook said the issues and figures were being “sanitised” by the State Government, with local reports emerging that at least 2000 cattle were dead on Noonkanbah alone. Mr Seabrook said it was frustrating that Ms MacTiernan had stated the inquiries were ongoing and full final details would not be released.

“This is a big contradiction given there’s been a much bigger animal welfare impact from these issues than that which has emerged from the live export industry, but those details are released without a second thought,” he said.

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