Graziers miss cattle deadline

AUSTRALIA - More than 200 cattle remain in a drought-hit wetland in Victoria's north after graziers failed to meet a deadline this week to slash numbers.
calendar icon 27 March 2007
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The farmers were given until March 25 to remove 80 per cent the cattle grazing in the Barmah Forest, which is on the Murray River flood plain between Echuca and Tocumwal.

A Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) spokesman said the internationally significant wetland forest was deemed at risk because of the record dry conditions.

"From a DSE and Parks Victoria perspective it is disappointing that the graziers were not able to remove their cattle by the negotiated deadline,'' the DSE spokesman said today.

"Some cattle have been removed but not as many as required ... there certainly hasn't been an 80 per cent reduction.''

The wetland forest is leased over summer and winter to about 30 farmers who were offered compensation to end their existing grazing leases three weeks early.

Source: TheAustralian

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