editors letterEditor Nathan Johnston

THE farmer who called the Sentinel-Times on Friday about the appalling deaths of dozens of young cattle near Loch didn’t want to be named in the story. He thought he might be labelled as a tattletale.
He won’t be named, but he’s a hero. So appalled with what he saw, he immediately called the RSPCA, the South Gippsland Shire Council, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and then later the Sentinel-Times as the situation worsened.
Still furious and disgusted, he explained what he’d seen in the previous 48 hours. He said he’d confronted a man who he said behaved aggressively.
That man, he suspected, was the land owner – an absentee from Melbourne, who turned up far too late with a trailer full of hay.
The experienced farmer could barely watch as the cattle in the paddock convulsed in pain as they walked around the bare paddocks, between thistles searching for a feed.
Hundreds of cars would have passed by and the drivers may have not noticed the dead black carcasses, some in the middle of the paddocks, but most hidden under cypress trees, some in dams and creeks over the hill.
Fortunately this man did. He may have prevented the painful deaths of many more neglected animals.
With an increasing number of absentee farmers in South Gippsland, many who’d be inexperienced, and some who are doing it as a tax dodge, it’s important to cast an eye over the fence from time to time.
You can report any unusual livestock deaths or illnesses to the DEPI who are investigating this case.