‘Hundreds of cows from NZ, Australia, die in SL’ | Daily News


‘Hundreds of cows from NZ, Australia, die in SL’

A total of 5,000 cattle were exported to Sri Lanka by West Australian company Wellard to help establish dairy farms there to reduce the country’s dependence on imported milk powder, ABC reported.

The company has said the total number of cows which have died is around nine per cent - or 400 - and that those deaths were due to a “handful” of farmers which had ignored herd management advice.

The ABC reported that Sri Lankan farmer Amal Suriyege bought 200 cows last year, but the animals were in poor condition when they arrived.

He said he lost about 160 cows on his farm, Lammermoor Estate, that another 180 calves had also died, and that the remaining 40 cows would also have to be culled because some were infected with mycoplasma bovis.

“What I have now are carcasses of those dead cows and calves....I think I have a cemetery, not a farm anymore,” he told ABC.

Sri Lankan business consultant Mohammed Mausook Riyal said at least one farmer he knew had committed suicide because his purchased cows had died, and said they were the wrong breed for the climate, making them susceptible to diseases.

Executive Chairman John Klepec said similar programmes had been successfully implemented in a number of similar locations previously.

Klepec said Sri Lankan vets had certified the cows as disease-free when they arrived in Sri Lanka.

“What happens post delivery of the cattle is subject to the farm management,” he said. “Poor farm management practices will produce poor outcomes.” (tvnz)

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