Drought-Related Deaths Were Preventable, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
27 December 2012

Townsville – Following the deaths of thousands of cows because of starvation, dehydration and predation in the wake of bush fires and a months-long drought, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia has written to Biosecurity Queensland to request an investigation into the deaths and that appropriate criminal charges be filed against farmers who failed to protect and offer care to their animals. As PETA points out in its letter, failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure that animals have appropriate food and water and are treated for disease and injury is a violation of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

“In a drought-prone area, there is simply no excuse for businesses to be unprepared to supply appropriate water and food for the animals in their care”, says PETA Director Jason Baker. “The recent bush fires and lack of rain are not unexpected occurrences in this region. Therefore, reasonable measures should have been in place to ensure that resources were stockpiled so that animals would not suffer during these times.”

In addition to investigating and prosecuting negligent farmers, PETA is also asking Biosecurity Queensland to take immediate action to ensure that starving and injured animals are given food, water and medical care and that dying animals are euthanised.

For more information, please visit A copy of PETA’s letter is available upon request.