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Welfare Group Criticises Queensland Graziers

28 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - Animal rights group PETA have called for north Queensland farmers to be prosecuted if animals die of dehydration and starvation.

PETA has contacted Biosecurity Queensland in response to reports that cattle are dying inhumanely as a result of disastrous fires and droughts in north of the state, reports ABC Rural.

The group want Biosecurity Queensland to determine if by failing to keep their stock alive graziers are violating the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. Claire Fryer, the campaign manager for PETA, says under the Animal Protection Act any person in charge of livestock has a duty of care to those animals.

"Obviously the decision to operate an animal agriculture operation in areas which are prone to drought and to fire risk does not leave them exempt from these laws," she says.

"Ranchers are running a business and their business is these animals."

"They [graziers] have a legal responsibility to the animals in their care.

"We are here to make sure these responsibilities are met."

Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh rejects the claims made by PETA.

"This is typical grandstanding and a blatant attempt by PETA to use this heartbreaking event on Gulf cattle producers to lift its own profile,' he said.

"I visited the region last week and I saw first hand how cattle producers are spending tens of thousands dollars a week on molasses and fodder to keep cattle alive."

"It's time for PETA to put up or shut up.

"If they want to help, donate to Gulf Fire Appeal which can be done at any branch of the Bendigo Bank."

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