Cattle to Malaita
THE Auki agriculture field office in Malaita has confirmed the death of one more cattle, reducing the recent herd at Gonokukufo to 433.
Media reports last week confirmed five heifers from the recent herd of 439 cattle have died.
Speaking from Auki this week, Chief Field Officer John Kaleka confirmed this report.
In his statement Mr Kaleka said such was anticipated during the arrival of the herd.
In addition to the deaths, he said a seventh heifer is still roaming astray from the paddocks, and field officers are still trying to locate the animal.
Mr Kaleka explained the first two cattles died in December last year while another two died a week after from severe illness.
The fifth fell off a weary cliff at the edge of the paddock.
Mr Kaleka added when the herd arrived in Kwaio they were struggling to recover from dehydration, stress and exhaustion after the long trip from Vanuatu.
He added that the situation intensified over the recent wet weather, during which the poor animals contracted cold leaving them to suffer from pneumonia that resulted in death.
“It is a sad thing to see these animals suffer like this, they have enough green pasture but the problem is the recent change in our weather pattern,” Mr Kaleka said.
Another field officer Mr Nelson, who recently came back with the news of the latest death, said the 6 deaths now put the mortality rate of the herd at 6%.
Mr Kaleka said the need is urgent as the herd now needs proper holding facilities in order to sustain their well being.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock’s Auki Field Office has called on their headquarters in Honiara to immediately build a stockyard for the cattle.