WARNING – CONFRONTING IMAGES: Animal rights group PETA has lashed out at drought-stricken farmers, saying it is their own fault that they’ve been forced to slaughter their starving animals.
One day after the NSW government announced they would be doubling their drought relief fund to $1 billion, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals published an article with the headline “If you can’t feed them don’t breed them”.
“Farmers are complaining that the big dry means that they have to kill animals prematurely and for no money,” the article read.
“From the farmers’ perspective, the problem is not that they have to kill animals – since they were going to do that anyway – but that they’re not getting paid to do so.”
PETA said each year 15 million newborn lambs die in Australia, largely due to cold weather.
“There’s no denying that millions of sheep bred into Australia’s wool industry are suffering in the drought. Unfortunately, their suffering is not unusual,” they added.
“Australia will slaughter 22.85 million lambs this year, while sheep slaughter is expected to reach 7.8 million – an astonishing total of more than 30 million animals, most of them little more than babies.”
Woman forced to put down family’s beloved horse
Thor was a thoroughbred cross-stock horse and very much a part of Jacintha Leatherby’s family, but on Sunday morning when she went to feed her four horses she made a heartbreaking discovery.
On the dry, drought-stricken property three of the family’s horses were waiting where they normally do, but 11-year-old Thor was found lying on the ground and was unable to sit up.
Ms Leatherby, who has eight acres at Gulgong in NSW, immediately called the vet, who gave the horse penicillin and pain relief, which helped for a short time.
“He was getting better but then he got worse and by 11.30 he was thrashing and having fits,” she told Yahoo7 News.
Sadly, Ms Leatherby said the best decision was to put Thor down, adding she couldn’t watch him suffer anymore.
Defence could help farmers, says Payne
Defence Minister Marise Payne has offered the assistance of the ADF as the drought crisis worsens in Queensland and NSW.
The Australian Defence Force could help drought-stricken farmers by transporting fodder by truck or plane, she said.
Minister Payne said the defence force often helped states during natural disasters, and could transport bulk stores such as fodder to farmers, provide water sanitation and give logistical support.
“One of the things that we do have the capability to do is assist with the movement, for example, of bulk stores by air or by road,” she told 2GB radio in Sydney.
“We can airdrop stores to remote areas where there’s no airstrip available, and I think that’s something which the states would not have the capability to do.”