MORE than 200 heads of cattle intended for breeding purposes on Malaita have died, according to reports from Maoa Village in West Kwaio, where the Government-funded multi-million dollar cattle rehabilitation scheme is based.
A spokesman said yesterday most of the animals died in the last four months due to lack of feed.
“In fact lack of planning is at the heart of the problem. There is no grass for the animals to feed on. There is not even a stockyard,” the spokesman said.
He said of the 439 heads of cattle imported from Vanuatu last November, only less than half are alive today.
But he warned that these animals too face certain death unless the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock do something now to save them.
“Some are already in bad shape,” the spokesman said.
“We have reported the matter to the Ministry at least three times so far this year, but each time the Ministry did not seem to show any interest at all,” the spokesman said.
“We suggested that the animals are moved to two new nearby lots where there is a lot of grass for the animals to eat. But even this suggestion has hit a deaf ear from authorities,” the spokesman said.
News of the animals’ death could whip up international repercussions against the government, especially by organisations such as the RSPCA and others for animal cruelty.
Attempts to get a comment from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development on the situation were unsuccessful.
By ALFRED SASAKO