Cattle held as ransom by farmers

National, Normal


CATTLE farmers in Lae, yesterday rounded up more than 4,000 State-owned cattle and removed them from the main cattle ranch at Markham Farms to neighbouring Garnef village, in the Leron Plains.
The move by the farmers in the area follows a lack of response to a petition they presented to the Department of Agriculture Secretary Anton Benjamin, last Tuesday at the farm.
The cattle will be moved to a other cattle ranches and will be looked after by the local farmers.
Association president Joseph Tetang announced that when they get a response from Agriculture Minister John Hickey and Mr Benjamin, they would release the cattle.
He added that if a response was not received quickly, they will start killing the cattle or distributing them to  the local farmers.
Mr Tetang said that Mr Hickey had appointed four different firms to provide care and management of the cattle and overlooked the local farmers.
Another cattlemen Jack Ronnie said the farmers “have waited long enough”.
The cattle were being stolen, dead or missing since August “and the government especially DAL has done nothing about it”.
Mr Tetang reported yesterday that they had been informed that the Director of DAL in the Momase Region, Masayan Moat had been informed of the cattlemen’s actions and had gone to Port Moresby on Tuesday afternoon.