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Life on the land in Australia

CATTLE BY THE HUNDREDS ARE BEING SHOT IN WEST QUEENSLAND BECAUSE OF THE DRAUGHT

DEBBIE Viney loves her cattle to death.

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Ms Viney says they barely survived the move there and will not survive the move back.

“It’s heartbreaking when you see the poor old cow and she can’t get up and you’ve got to put her

The 54-year-old grazier and son Darcy, 17, have shot dead hundreds of starving livestock in the worst drought in 100 years.

“It’s not an easy call,’’ said the Janville cattle station owner, five hours’ drive west of Townsville. “We’re in a war zone. It’s not human bodies, blood and brains. But it is cattle and the bones of our livelihood.’’

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Debbie and her son, who live alone on the drought-ravaged property, took The Courier-Mail on a heart-wrenching tour of one boneyard where bleached white skeletons lie scattered in the arid, grassless paddocks.

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WESTERN DROUGHT. Grazier Debbie Viney and her son Darcy at Janville Station near Prairie walking through one of their boning yards. Pic Mark Calleja

“If a cow can’t stand, if she’s too sick or weak, she’s shot straight away,’’ Debbie said. “Not to do so is just cruel.’’

Debbie often faces harsh criticism for talking so bluntly about the grim reality of shooting dying cattle.

starving cattle being shot by the hundreds in west qld image www.ozrural.com (2)

WESTERN DROUGHT. Grazier Debbie Viney and her son Darcy at Janville Station near Prairie. Pic Mark Calleja

“They say it’s a bad look for the rural sector. What about all the farmers out here shooting themselves in the head because they can’t pay the interest on a bank loan?’’

Debbie and Darcy were both recently given a free psychological assessment as part of a program run by Aussie Bush Helpers.

“Everyone thought we’d gone off our nutter. But the psychologist said we had a better grip than most, we’re not blind to the truth and reality of our situation,” she said.

Three years without decent rain and no income has largely left the pair living off Darcy’s dingo and wild dog trapping.

“We go without everything. There will be no Christmas. I don’t want anything. But I do wish I could give that boy somethin

How you can help

* Make a donation at any Commonwealth Bank branch

* Donate online at www.commbank.com.au/droughtappeal

* Donate online via the Salvos: Account name: The Salvation Army We’re For the Bush Campaign, BSB: 062000, Account no. 15295020.

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Henry Sapiecha

www.money-au.com

December 23rd, 2014
Topic: DROUGHTS FLOODS Tags: , ,

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