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Cattle removal – Cape York Peninsula national parks

22 August 2016

Sky News report on 20 August 2016 ‘Cape York cattle owners outraged at govt plan’ contained false and misleading information.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) can confirm it is running a multi-phase cattle management program to remove cattle from Cape York Peninsula national parks in consultation with the Traditional Owners, park neighbours, Agforce and other relevant authorities.

The program is now in its third year and has substantially reduced the number of feral cattle on protected areas across Cape York Peninsula. It will help permanently preserve these areas’ natural condition and protect their cultural resources and values.

In July 2014, a policy was adopted that provides fair and reasonable options for neighbours to claim and retrieve their stock from the protected area.

Key protected areas on Cape York Peninsula such as Oyala Thumotang National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) have an individual strategy that is consistent with that policy, and addresses the key conservation issues, the specific neighbour requirements and the underlying joint management controls.

QPWS has the ability to seize stock, once all options to return stock to rightful owners have been exhausted.

The cattle are seized in situ.

The cattle are then returned to their rightful owner if possible. When they can’t be identified they are mustered and sold.

The remaining stock that are unclaimed, relinquished or unable to be mustered are humanely destroyed.

The Traditional Owners, the Oyala Thumotang Land Trust, are joint management partners with QPWS and will be offered the opportunity to remove the cattle over the next 12 months commencing in September of this year. Neighbours or owners of stock may continue to muster within this period by negotiating with the Traditional Owners to carry out a joint muster, or alternatively the Traditional Owners will muster and return stock to the neighbours at no cost to the neighbouring property.

The right for Traditional Owners to start mustering on Oyala Thumotang National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) will commence following the seizure of all residual cattle on the park in September 2016. The neighbours of this park have had a 12 month period to enable the retrieval of their stock and many have made the most of that opportunity.

Last updated
22 August 2016