Farmer forced to shoot his own cows after they were burned in bushfire

Grief-stricken farmer is consoled after shooting 20 cows that were so badly burned in devastating bushfires he was forced to carry out a mass mercy killing

  • An Australian farmer was forced to shoot 20 of his cows after they were injured in the devastating bushfires 
  • Steve Shipton from Coolagolite on the far south coast of New South Wales was consoled by fellow farmers 
  • He was forced to put down the herd after they were burned in bushfires which ravaged the town this week 

An Australian farmer was forced to shoot 20 of his cows after they were injured in the bushfires which are wreaking havoc on the nation.

Steve Shipton from Coolagolite on the far south coast of New South Wales was consoled by neighbouring farmers after he put down calves which were burned when fires swept through his property.

The latest fire front stretches from the south coast through to eastern Victoria, and peaked on New Years Eve. Conditions are again expected to worsen by Saturday.  

The death toll for this fire season reached 18 after eight people – seven in NSW and one in Victoria – died on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An estimated 480million animals have also perished in the blazes, which began months before the fire season was officially predicted to begin. 

Steve Shipton inspects the burns on a calf he has just put down in his paddock after a bushfire in Coolagolite

Steve Shipton shoots an injured calf in his paddock after a bushfire tore through the community on January 1, 2020

This picture taken on December 31, 2019 shows a firefighter hosing down trees and flying embers in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra

Mr Shipton made the devastating decision to kill 20 of his cattle to ease their suffering after they were burned in the fires.

Graphic pictures show the moments leading up to the killings, as well as the moments directly after, where he was consoled by fellow farmers Bernie Smith and Peter Mercieca.

He was also seen discussing the matter with a local vet.

After he’d put the cows to sleep, he shook the vet’s hand and thanked him for the support.

Pictures show him checking the burns on the calves and the exact moment he shot another in the head.

In NSW 186 homes have been razed and entire towns, including Mogo and Cobargo have been destroyed.

But authorities warned that conditions would be even worse Saturday and urged tourists to get out of fire affected areas as soon as possible.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned of hellish conditions on Saturday.

‘We are getting indications with the forecast for Saturday that it is going to present a broader geographic area worse than what we saw yesterday in terms of fire danger,’ he said.

‘We all need to prepare ourselves for more challenging conditions.’

He said the fires would dominate a vast area from the south eastern corner of NSW up to Illawara and Shoalhaven.

Several bushfire-ravaged communities in New South Wales and Victoria have greeted the new year under immediate threat

Steve Shipton (left) thanks a local vet after losing approximately 20 cows out of a herd of 200 during the fires

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