Dead calves dumped beside road
By SHAN GOODWIN
THE bizarre dumping of 10 dead calves in Lismore has left farmers and animal carers reeling.
They say they have never heard of such an animal horror story in the region.
Lismore City Council rangers yesterday removed the carcasses from the side of Cusack Road, Woodlawn, and buried them. The calves were about a month old and were tied up in stock feed bags.
Ranger Col Shepherd said it was likely they had been there for about two days. One was certainly a Hereford, but the others were too decomposed to tell, he said.
It would be impossible to determine how they died, he said. The calves did not carry identification tags.
The council will investigate and report the matter to the RSPCA.
Mr Shepherd said he had never heard of anything in the Lismore area to the extent of yesterday's find.
The dumping was most frightening because there was no scenario to explain it, Animal Rights and Rescue's Barbara Steffensen said.
"We've been doing this work for 18 years and heard all the horror stories," she said.
"But this doesn't make any sense at all. If you were negligent and the cattle died you would hide the evidence.
"We pray it's not a bizarre ritual killing."
Beef producers said sheer logic would tell you a genuine farmer would not be responsible.
Lyn Bolin, from the Richmond River Beef Association, said a farmer would use a tractor to bury any dead stock.
Hobby farmers or 'backyard operators' with little knowledge of farming practices and inadequate resources could be to blame, she said.
But the large scale of the incident was frightening, she said.
"It is very sad and I would hope it doesn't reflect badly on farmers," she said.
Stock agents said a one-monthold Hereford would fetch up to $150.
The incident comes after the alleged buggery of a mare, involving a fence post, at Woodlawn last year.
The thoroughbred survived the attack, which police and horse owners described as disgusting.