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Brinkworth mob moves out of north-west NSW

Lisa Herbert, Sunday November 17, 2013 - 10:22 EDT
ABC image
2000 heifers making their way down the stockroute - ABC
ABC image
Gunnedah drover Brad Brazier on the travelling stock route during the 2013 drought. - ABC

The pressure put on travelling stock routes by the Brinkworth mob has contributed to new restrictions being placed on travelling stock reserves (TSRs) in the New South Wales north-west.

The cattle, owned by South Australian grazier Tom Brinkworth, left western Queensland five months ago and have been moving south to the state's Riverina.

Grazing pressure from the 12,000 head, coupled with dry conditions, have left the stock routes in poor condition.

Gerard O'Connor, from the Livestock Health and Pest Authority says the use of stock routes in the state's north-west will be restricted to livestock that have a clear destination.

"It hasn't been a kind time for the stock routes," Mr O'Connor said.

"We haven't had any significant rainfall, so we've taken some action to limit the further lowering of the ground cover levels.

"From the middle of this month, all walking mobs will need to identify a destination that they need to progress to."

Mr O'Connor says the LHPA will offer limited monthly grazing permits in areas where there is available feed.

"We'll be looking to spell all of our TSRs until we have a reasonable couple of rain events to regenerate those stock routes."

Just two of nine Brinkworth cattle mobs remain in the north-west.

The owners of 14 local mobs of cattle using the north-west stock routes will now have to make a decision about where those cattle are going to walk to.

"We're not saying we're closing the TSRs. They are still open to travelling stock, but they must have a destination such as saleyards, other agistment, or going back home to feed," Mr O'Connor said.

"It is decision time for landholders.

"There is not going to be that luxury of being able to slow travel and graze as you walk through the Authority."

These restrictions vary from district to district across the state and anyone wanting to use the TSRs should contact their local ranger with the Livestock Health and Pest Authority.

Drover Brad Brazier from Rowena has had cattle on the road since late last year. He's spent the last few months circling his 850 cows and calves around the Gunnedah area.

He says he doesn't have a destination for his stock.

"By having to have a destination, that's forcing people to sell their stock, and their livelihoods are gone."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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