Binginwarri Landcare Group Newsletter No. 9 Tuesday 20th September 2011
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A test feeding 1,000 pregnant heifers on wheatlage (which contained high concentration of the pathogen) resulted in 450 experiencing spontaneous abortions. Over the same period another 1000 heifers, from the same herd, were monitored but fed only on hay and these recorded no spontaneous abortions. (Wheatlage is silage made from wheat straw).
Glyphosate is the main ingredient in weed control chemicals such as Roundup and Zero. Roundup being the herbicide used when growing GM crops results in these crops having high levels of glyphosate and hence, according to the above related research, high levels of this pathogen.
Based on this research the consumption of GM plants could affect all animals, insects and birds, which feed on GM plants. As human beings we too are animals.
It’s food for thought. (Pardon the pun ). Further details re this topic can be found on the web by searching for Don Huber.
HEART OF THE FARM
It is certainly true - farmer health is directly linked to the health of the farm. Too often we focus on priorities in our workplace that we genuinely believe to be important, but without our health our priorities change. Each year in regional Australia approximately 9000 people die of coronary artery disease. If regional mortality rates were equal to that of metropolitan areas, then an incredible 900 or 10% of these lives would have been saved. Unfortunately farmers often ignore the warning signs of an imminent health event that if it occurs, is guaranteed to reprioritise your life. Some of the symptoms commonly ignored by farmers and farm workers are chest pain, shortness of breath and an unusual lack of energy. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms please contact your General Practitioner immediately.
It is often the independence of the farmer that is the root cause of ignoring such significant health warnings. A major worry for farmers is, who’s going to run the farm if I can’t? Prevention is obviously far better than the cure, so with this in mind, let us investigate one excellent option available to farmers and their workers to obtain a health check.
WorkSafe Victoria has developed a free, confidential, 15-minute WorkHealth check conducted in the convenience of your workplace. Each WorkHealth check includes a brief lifestyle survey, and you’ll also have your blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and waistline measured by a trained health professional. Your results are provided on the spot, including your level of risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Be proactive, have a health check. Remember, behind every healthy farm is a healthy farmer.
If you are interested in getting a small group together and organising a free WorkHealth Check in your community visit www.workhealth.vic.gov.au or call the VFF FarmSafe Alliance Manager, Tim McKenzie on 0407 369 294.
Fire Telephone Trees:
The Bingi Group has decided that this is going to be up to each micro-community to organise their own telephone tree, and to this end, the Hedley Range Road community is in the midst of setting up theirs. We envisage there will be at least 4 groups covering the Binginwarri area on this road alone.
The idea is to have very small, ‘houses-physically-close-together’ groups along each road in Bingi, to keep it manageable in the event of fire. It takes one person to take charge, to know what your neighbours are doing prior to the actual emergency (staying or going.) alert them, and look out for them on the day, especially the aged or infirm in our community.
If you desire it, CFA officers are able to attend a group of properties to assess each place and tell you what you need to do to make your property safer in the event of fire, but it is up to each group to arrange.
If you need any help please don’t hesitate to contact Kaye Proudley on 5185 1398 if you need help with the concept or setting up of your group.
Quoll Eats Cat.
From: Spot Tales Newsletter, far north Qld.
All too frequently we hear negative stories of quolls and other native animals being attacked and killed by introduced predators. There is a clear and distinct link between the loss of many native mammals as a result of the threat and impact from introduced predators - mainly dogs, cats and foxes. We were excited to hear a story of a tough old Spotted-tailed Quoll in the Blue Mountains in NSW getting one back for the natives from about 8 years ago. The following account is provided.
It started with a phone call at about 9.30 one cold winters evening, a frost was pending and the caller asked if I was the Quoll Man and if I had lost a very large quoll. I said, “Yes I guess I was.” I had never been referred to as the Quoll Man before, but hadn’t lost a quoll and I was interested in what he had seen.
He lived in an area that backed onto the Blue Mountains National Park not far from where Wollemi Wilderness area joined it. So it was very wild and rough country. His dog had been barking for several nights now and his house cat refused to go out at night and was terrified. I thought...’well not going out was a good thing anyway,’ but every night the cat food would disappear and the dog was tied up so it wasn’t him. He thought maybe it was
brush-tailed possums but hadn’t seen any of those on the back veranda for some time. Maybe they were back?
But this night he had seen a big quoll walk in front of the sliding doors then eat the cat food and described it in great detail. Normally he had the curtains closed in winter.
He was very concerned and I reassured him it was ok, and asked him not to harm the quoll as they are protected and I would buy more cat food for the cat if necessary, or even better still, stop putting the food outside and the quoll would return to the bush when he got hungry. Well that all went well and I hung up.
One week went by and the phone rang again and now the dog had been in a dust-up with the quoll and was hiding in its kennel and the quoll was eating a chicken carcass dinner having run up a tree with it. This quoll was very bold, very hungry and was basically terrorising the wildlife at night around this farm. I hadn’t heard of this before. Again the quoll had walked past the sliding doors on the back veranda, much to the terror of their cat inside. I persuaded the farmer and his wife not to leave any food outside and feed both the cat and dog inside till the quoll moved on, looking for a food source elsewhere.
It was then the owner mentioned that his chickens had been killed some 6 weeks ago and they had blamed a fox at the time and as it turned out might have been this old, scared and very bold quoll.
It was about another week later I received yet another phone call, the farmer had not fed his pets outside, locked up the garbage and hadn’t seen the quoll at night, for all this time. I thought this was good and to be sure of their pets safety, still feed inside for a few more days. I thought ‘problem solved.’
Would you believe it, one more phone call several nights later. This time the cat was missing! Whoops. I reassured them that the cat might be up a tree or just enjoying being outside after being locked inside all this time. I said, “just check up the trees and in, under & around the house, you might find it.”
Well the next call was the last call and I had to go see this for myself…they found their cat up a tree, hanging like a leopard kill, mostly consumed! I tried to hold back my delight…a cat being taken by a quoll? ‘Great, they are fighting back’ I thought, and at the same time as I tried to console these people, I was also trying to believe it might have been a powerful owl or another predator. I couldn’t. I was so pleased to see that the Spotted-tailed Quolls might regard these furry, fluffy, clawed animals, out at night feeding, as fair game. A cat might pass for their favourite prey, the brush-tailed possum.
Lots of questions arise from this account. Mainly, was the quoll hanging around all along to get the cat? The Quoll hasn’t been back since.
Maybe it was mission accomplished by the quoll !!
And that’s the lot for this edition, thanks for reading, but check out the selection of photos, below.