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Paul was a District Inspector of Stock with the Department of Agriculture, starting in 1956 and retiring in 1989. STOCK INSPECTION EXPERIENCES IN NORTHERN.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul was a District Inspector of Stock with the Department of Agriculture, starting in 1956 and retiring in 1989. STOCK INSPECTION EXPERIENCES IN NORTHERN."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul was a District Inspector of Stock with the Department of Agriculture, starting in 1956 and retiring in STOCK INSPECTION EXPERIENCES IN NORTHERN PASTORAL AREAS by Paul Heap Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

2 This hut was constructed in the early 1960’s for use by officers working in the Northern areas. It was close to Tom Kruse’s Shell fuel Depot, where we obtained our fuel. We bought fuel in 44 gallon drums, and would ask Tom to drop a “44” at a particular sand hill, so that we could decant fuel into our long range tank. This saved a lot of tracking back to Marree to get fuel. It was a pleasure to deal with Tom despite his very casual manner. MARREE DEPOT Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

3 Stock Inspector arranging the inspection of 1200 cattle, which were recently introduced from the Northern Territory. The inspection was carried out as part of an ongoing disease investigation. It involved travelling with and observing the cattle from Marree to Cooper Creek. Arranging inspection with the boss drover. ARRANGING INSPECTION OF CATTLE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

4 Thirsty cattle can sense water long before they reach it. When moving a large, thirsty mob, some of the drovers move to the lead cattle to control them as they reach the water. This reduces the chance of them rushing forward and injuring the animals at the front. In this photo the boss drover ”Doug Scobie” has just completed the task. Approaching water, artesian bore head, CONTROLLING CATTLE NEAR WATER Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

5 Stock Inspector, Paul Heap, enjoying a shower at Yarra Hill artesian bore on Murnpeowie Station. The water gushes at a high volume, but is a comfortable temperature for a shower. This bore is now capped for conservation purposes. Yarra Hill artesian bore head YARRA HILL ARTESIAN BORE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

6 Drovers saddle the Night Horse at dusk, and leave it tied up ready for action, should there be a rush of cattle during the night. Night-horse at dawn, NIGHT HORSE AT DAWN, 1963 Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

7 Dulkanina bore, before capping of the bores was undertaken. Thousands of bores such as this, running day and night, severely depleted the Great Artesian Basin. The bores were capped to preserve water. The average depth across the basin is 500m, and the temperature ranges from 30°C for a shallow bore, to 100°C for deeper bores. Water taken directly from the hot bores makes excellent but very strong tea. Dulkanina bore. DULKANINA BORE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

8 Stock Inspector, George Rankin (centre),helps to butcher a ‘killer’ to supply meat for the camp cook. The drover on the left is salting cuts of fresh meat for longer storage. Unsalted meat did not have a long life. chuck steak was the favourite cut. The animal was not stressed before slaughter, thereby improving tenderness and flavor. Fresh meat on the track FRESH MEAT ON THE TRACK Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

9 Great care is taken when paint branding to ensure that the brand matches the recently collected bottles of blood. In some years large mobs of cattle in poor condition were sent by rail from the North. They required fast handling in order to get them on to feed quickly. Those who worked on them will remember the dawn starts and the late nights, pouring and rebottling blood specimens by the light from a Land Rover. Not to forget the camp oven stew of steak and vegetables, replenished when needed, to last over two days of work without proper meal breaks. It was camp stew on the run, or nothing !! Paint branding. PAINT BRANDING CATTLE PRIOR TO BLOOD SAMPLING Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

10 Stock Inspector “Bob Powell” tail bleeding cattle to test for Pleuro- pneumonia a disease still present in those days in some Northern areas. Cattle from these localities must pass a clean blood test before passing into Southern areas. Many came from drought affected country, and were in weak condition. Due to successful eradication campaigns Pleuro Pneumonia is no longer a problem, and this method of bleeding is no longer used Stock Inspector Bob Powell TAIL BLOOD SAMPLING CATTLE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

11 After heavy rain, drains become saturated. Weak cattle may bog down and die if not rescued. After a short recovery period the animal was strong enough to chase me back to my vehicle!!! Drought breaking rains RESCUING BOGGED COW AFTER RAIN Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

12 This sand hill is a small example of the many encountered on the track years ago. In conditions like this it was wise to walk the hill before crossing to check for hazards. I am told that the track is now (2012) a good km per hour road that is well suited to two wheel drive vehicles. SAND DUNE ON THE BIRDSVILLE TRACK Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

13 Prior to the mid 1960’s, the Birdsville Track was extremely rough. Sand hills and wash-aways made progress slow and difficult. By the late 1960’s the Track was improving, although still rough, and cattle transports began to replace droving. The track is now much better, although flash- flooding is still a problem. Cattle truck crossing a flooded section BIRDSVILLE TRACK IN FLOOD Cattle truck crossing a flooded section Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

14 Stock Inspector, Paul Heap (author), carrying out observations on a mob of NT cattle - from the rail at Marree to Cooper Creek. This was part of an ongoing disease investigation. During the seven-day observation I learned to crack a stock whip whilst mounted. The horse was very tolerant and things went well until I cracked the tip of the whip under my nose, making a fair sized split in my upper lip. That was the end of whip cracking! Paul Heap inspecting cattle by horseback STOCK INSPECTION BY HORSEBACK Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

15 Department of Agriculture, Land Rover, near Cooper Creek in a good season following a drought. Note the herbage growing on the sand hill. When the waters recede the flats are covered in grass and herbage providing good grazing to fatten cattle Cooper Creek, COOPER CREEK IN FULL FLOOD Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

16 Traps such as this were sometimes carried to catch insects for identification. The work aimed to better understand the distribution of insects that may be involved in the spread of disease. The trap, driven from the vehicle battery, consisted of a suction fan and light over a container of alcohol, and surrounded by fine mesh. Each morning the dish contents were bottled for dispatch to the laboratory. Insect trap set at O’Larie Creek TRAPPING DISEASE SPREADING INSECTS Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

17 The remains of Killalpaninna Lutheran Mission, built of mud and straw bricks, on the shore of Lake Killalpaninna. Old sheep yards, used in the late 1800’s, are nearby. A series of drought years forced the abandonment of the mission. Ruins of Killalpaninna Mission RUINS OF KILLALPANINNA MISSION Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

18 Cooper Creek, when flowing, presents an obstacle for stock movement. On this occasion cattle were forced into the water in small lots. If the lots are too large there is a risk of them ringing in the deep water and drowning. Cattle about to cross the Cooper CATTLE ABOUT TO CROSS THE COOPER Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

19 Leading the horses across Cooper Creek. Horses are good swimmers, but snort noisily. Occasionally, when boats were not available, drovers would hold onto a swimming horse to cross rivers Horse plant crossing the Cooper HORSE PLANT CROSSING THE COOPER AHEAD OF CATTLE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

20 The Stock Inspector has a discussion with the Boss Drover before he leaves to join the cattle on the other bank. Final chat on the Cooper DISCUSSING PLANS Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

21 Few Northern drovers can swim, as our creeks run “much but not often”, making learning to swim a risky undertaking. Fortunately on this occasion a row boat was available, making it more pleasant than hitching a ride alongside a horse. My sincere thanks to the droving team, who put up with a “rookie left flank drover”. Farewell to the drovers as they go to join the cattle DROVERS CROSSING COOPER CREEK Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

22 Cattle grazing on lush feed following receding flood waters on the upper Cooper lakes. Lake, upper Cooper CATTLE GRAZING AFTER THE FLOOD Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

23 Queensland store cattle watering in the Diamantina River, before entering South Australia. Diamantina River WATERING CATTLE DIAMANTINA RIVER Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap

24 Stock Inspectors working in remote areas often camped out. The kit consisted of a swag, rifle, and a flying doctor radio. The radio helped to keep in contact with stations and also provided a safety net. The vehicle was equipped with long range fuel and water tanks. Stock Inspector’s camp site STOCK INSPECTORS CAMP SITE Stock Inspection Experiences in Northern Pastoral Areas by Paul Heap


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