These Drought-Ravaged Cattle Have To Be Physically Lifted Every Morning
In a devastating insight into Australia's crippling drought, a farmer has revealed how his cattle have to be physically lifted off the ground every morning because they can no longer stand on their own feet.
Greg Jerry's wool and beef cattle property has been in his family for four generations, but he fears the latest drought, which has devastated them for three years, may be the breaking point.
Speaking to The Sunday Project more than a year after his family first appeared on the show, the NSW farmer said there still looks to be no end in sight for the drought.
"Every time I drive through this boundary gate here I think, what am I doing here today?" Greg said.
"Like, I just need a day off this farm. It’s very depressing."
Speaking to The Project's Hamish Macdonald, Greg said there was hardly a day that goes by without an animal being found dead on the property or something stuck or down.
"Any crook cows, we bring them up to the main cattle yards," Greg said, explaining how some of their drought-stricken cattle have to be lifted to a standing position every morning.
"They’ll stand all day and walk around and feed but by nighttime they just haven’t got enough get up and go to get back on their feet."
And while the physical work is unrelenting for the family, with even Greg's 80-year-old mum Coral, working from dawn till dusk, Greg said it's the mental pressures that are "starting to get the better of me."
"Mentally and the stress of it, it's just, I'm not sleeping properly at night, waking up and trying to work out a way to get through," he said.
And they're not the only ones. At the moment, 98.7 percent of NSW is affected by drought and across large parts of the country rainfall over the last 12 months has been well below average.
Greg said he's on the "knife-edge" of breaking point.
"If it doesn't rain in the next couple of months, I think I'm just prolonging the inevitable," he said.
Asked what that meant, Greg said: "You just have to turn a blind eye -- and walk away."
Catch the full story on The Sunday Project at 6:30pm.
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