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Raw video: Aerial footage shows cattle surrounding truck after farmers provided water to save their livestock in New South Wales, an area of Australia that just experienced its second-driest autumn on record. "There isn't a person in the state that isn't hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities", he said.

The bleak outlook has prompted the state government to ease up on rules that cap how many kangaroos farmers can shoot.

"Kangaroos around local food and water sources are putting significant pressure on farms - we must start to turn that around as soon as possible", Mr Blair said.

CANBERRA: Animal welfare concerns have been raised after farmers in Australia's most populous state were allowed to shoot kangaroos in order to keep them from starving to death.

It remains a legal requirement for individuals to obtain a licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service to shoot kangaroos, however moving to an online system will take away the time-consuming task of having to pick up tags and then having to tag the animal in the paddock.

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"Anybody on the land that will make a phone call to the Department of Environment can get permission to shoot nearly whatever they want to shoot and it's unaudited and unchecked and that's our concern - animal welfare", Borda told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The government would have been better off subsidising professional shooters to reduce kangaroo numbers more humanely, he said.

The reason was water shortage in the region.

While the country is no stranger to "big drys" and its people have long had a reputation as resilient, the extreme conditions across swathes of Australia's east are the worst in more than 50 years. Droughts can last for a few month or even years.

"A recent attribution study shows extremely high pressures as seen across southeast Australia in August 2014 are more likely to occur in the future due to climate change", it says. The state governments would also be asked to submit reports on drought condition, so that relevant relief measures can be implemented.


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