The State Government will assume control of a remote pastoral station near Wiluna amid grave concerns over the welfare of its livestock.
Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said the reports were horrifying, with up to 500 dead cattle and a further 2,500 at risk.
“It appears the lessees have left the station and left the cattle without adequate water,” Mr Chance said.
“It is estimated that the ambient temperature on the ground is 50 degrees. Only two of the 13 watering points are operational and no bores are working at all.
“This would appear to be a case of serious neglect and abandonment.”
Mr Chance said the RSPCA, with support from the Department of Agriculture, were working on the ground to get water to the surviving animals.
“The Government has made urgent contact with the Pastoral Lands Board, requiring an extraordinary meeting this afternoon to obtain Ministerial authorisation to take control of the station,” he said.
“While the RSPCA and the Department of Agriculture currently have access to the station under the Animal Welfare Act, the PLB needs to take control of the station in the longer term.
“The State Government has advised the PLB that it will support any recommendation to assume control of the station.
“The RSPCA are case-managing the situation and the State Government has agreed to fully reimburse them for all costs incurred as a result of this exercise.
“Unfortunately, about 30 cows, horses and camels have had to be euthanased but we are doing everything we can to save the remaining livestock, which includes cattle, brumbies, dogs and camels.
“Water is being carted to the animals in the short term and tomorrow the PLB will move them to a neighbouring property.”
Minister's office: 9213 6700