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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Doping scandal hits Australian cows
Dairy cows
Dairy cows are judged on the size and shape of their udders
One of Australia's largest agricultural shows has been engulfed in scandal after four people were disqualified for "udder-tampering".

Two cattle owners and two groomers were excluded from the Royal Queensland Show for injecting an unknown substance into their cows' udders to make them larger.

In Australia's competitive agricultural shows, dairy cows are judged on the size and shape of their udders, as well as their general appearance.

The scandal came to light on Sunday night, when security guards at the show observed a "suspicious act" being performed on the udders of a cow due to be exhibited the following morning, according to the Royal National Association (RNA).

"It's beyond my comprehension that anyone would do this, but it's to enhance the performance, to make the udders bigger and more beautiful, and that's a plus in the judging criteria," said RNA president Vivian Edwards.

Mr Edwards said that although this was the first time any participant had been banned from the show, rumours of udder tampering had been rife for years.

Some farmers are also suspected of gluing their cows' teats shut, to stop milk leakage.

The four offenders, and their cows, have been sent home in disgrace.

Police have also charged one of the farmers with failing to properly dispose of a syringe, which breaches Australia's strict hygiene laws.

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