Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Drought-hit Australian farmers to kill kangaroos

Drought-hit Australian farmers to kill kangaroos

News reports that New South Wales produces about twenty-five percent of Australia's agricultural output.

Farmers are having to decide whether to continue the expensive and laborious task of hand-feeding cattle and sheep or sell their livestock.

"Anybody on the land that will make a phone call to the Department of Environment can get permission to shoot nearly whatever they want to shoot and it's unaudited and unchecked and that's our concern - animal welfare", Borda told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "They are shooting them because they just can't afford to feed them anymore", Tash Johnston, co-founder of charity Drought Angels, told AFP.

However, the state government has refused to officially declare the drought a natural disaster akin to a flood or bushfire and ignored an offer of military help.

The US will subsidise farmers and buy unsold crops, among other measures; farmers growing soybeans, sorghum and wheat will get the most aid.

Australia has long dealt with harsh, dry conditions, especially inland, away from coastal areas popular with tourists. "We've put cattle on the highway (near the farm) for the first time in my life (so) they get a bit of rough grass". Droughts can last for a few month or even years.

"We are the land of droughts and flooding rains".

4 Many of Australia's southeast districts are struggling with drought. "We recognise that. It's a very volatile and often capricious climate and Australian farmers are resilient, they plan for drought, they are good managers but it can become really overwhelming", said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The federal government has announced $12,000 grants for each affected farming family while the NSW government has doubled its funding commitments with a total of $1 billion now available.

Others said it was too little, too late.

Across Southern Australia, 2018 saw the second-driest autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall 57mm (2.24in) below average, with less than 10mm of rain was recorded in parts of NSW in July, and drier than normal conditions are forecast in coming months, as reported by the BBC.

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