Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is investigating the deaths of 46 heifers at the Queensland government owned Swan’s Lagoon Research Station near Ayr.
The heifers died earlier this month after they were left in a holding paddock without water following a muster at the station.
Queensland minister for agriculture John McVeigh said he was disgusted at hearing the news late on Friday night.
“As soon as I was told by my Director-General Jack Noye I immediately ordered a full independent investigation,” Mr McVeigh said in a statement to media issued on Sunday.
“I have been speaking with my Director-General over the weekend and we will meet again first thing Monday morning to further discuss the independent investigation and its process. Further details will then be released.
“Instances of animal neglect or mistreatment should be investigated and those responsible must be held fully accountable – wherever they occur, not just in Queensland.
“I have asked that the investigation focus on what processes may have fallen down at the property or indeed if someone has acted negligently for this tragedy to have occurred.
“We need to ensure this does not happen again, so in addition to the investigation I have asked the department to conduct an immediate review of management processes right across departmental properties.
“The investigation will explain exactly what has happened, who is responsible and what steps we need to take from here.”