Recently, my neighbour’s cattle got onto my property. No doubt this was revenge for my two dogs constantly barking and chasing the farm laborers when they get too close to our fence. However, two over – protective dogs are no match for fifty cows trampling the yard.
I live on two acres. Luckily, my vegetable garden is fenced off from the rest of the property or the cows would have trampled all over it. What surprised me, after the diary farmer noticed he’d lost his herd and collected them, was the damage these cows had made in their short bout of freedom.
Cattle hooves are most unsuitable for Australian soil. The damage these ruminant, cud chewing animals do with their natural footwear is enormous. Marsupials, adapted to the Australian environment, have perfect feet. Cows on the other hand – alongside sheep, horses and pigs – have feet that press into the soil, leaving holes.
Fifty cows left a lot of holes in the ground. These holes soon filled with water which drains slowly. If the holes don’t drain the water spreads over the grass, making it muddy and difficult to walk on. These holes have appeared all over the property so there is now a lot of mud. The dogs love the mud but then walk it all over the kitchen floor when they follow me back inside.
Now I have mud in the house I have to constantly wash out because the dogs always manage to sneak inside when I’m not looking.
The cows have caused damage outside the house and frustration inside the house. I can imagine how much damage they must do to the environment, leaving big holes and muddy landscapes wherever they tread. There have been calls to remove cattle from Australia and to breed kangaroos and other native animals for meat.
I’m happy for cows and similar animals to be removed. However, people are addicted to their beef and lamb so I don’t see that happening in the near future, if at all. In the meantime, I’ll turn a blind eye when my dogs harass the workers. After all, canines only leave a light footprint.