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Cattle unlikely helpers in drug and acohol rehabilitation

BOVINE BENEFACTORS: Teen Challenge Toowoomba manager Craig Watson explains the impact the donation of five new cows and a bull will have on recovering drug addicts and alcoholics.
BOVINE BENEFACTORS: Teen Challenge Toowoomba manager Craig Watson explains the impact the donation of five new cows and a bull will have on recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Tara Miko

FIVE wagyu cows have become unlikely drug and alcohol rehabilitators for a group of men and women at Toowoomba's Teen Challenge.

The residential rehab centre has taken ownership of the small herd from Trelinga Stud owners Dave and Pauline Peake, of Greenmount.

For Teen Challenge manager Craig Watson, it is the centre's first step to becoming self-sustainable.

"As an organisation, we're looking at ways to reduce costs and be a bit more sustainable," he said.

"We have 12 guys here at the moment and they're helping to repair fences and that sort of thing."

A bull is also on loan from the stud, and any calves will be owned by Teen Challenge.

They will be meat cattle eventually to aid in the organisation becoming sustainable, to complement the on-site vegetable patch tended to by the residents.

The serious side of the donation is the potential for the animals to assist the residents.

"A lot of the young men here have limited work experience," Mr Watson said.

"The cows will provide work opportunities and responsibilities and it complements the program we run.

"If we get young boys from out west, it might just be the cows that keep them here because they are something they can relate to."

Mr Peake said the donation was small compared with the potential benefits to the centre's residents.

"You can't put a price on the donation," he said.

"You have only got to save one person and that's a life.

"Animals are proved to be really good at helping to rehabilitate people."

Topics:  cattle drug and alcohol livestock


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