Bushfire livestock losses contained

Agriculture Victoria says livestock losses and injuries from the recent Gippsland fires were kept to a minimum as property owners heeded warnings to move their animals early.

Agriculture Victoria field staff have visited almost 300 properties in the areas affected by the five fires at Yinnar south-Budgeree, Bunyip, Dargo, Buchan and Licola.

Staff have been assessing livestock injuries and losses and providing appropriate treatment while also assessing losses and impacts to agricultural assets.

Agriculture Victoria Incident Agency Commander Banjo Patterson said despite the size of the fires the number of stock losses has been low.

He said farmers’ preparedness and early actions had really helped this.

“To date, there has been a mix of dairy, beef and sheep farms affected, livestock losses including 15 cattle, three alpacas, five beehives and 42 hens with additional cattle and sheep currently missing from their properties,” Mr Patterson said.

Our field officers have also reported agricultural asset losses that include, 1661 hectares of pastures, 3147 tonnes of hay, 50 hay sheds, 68 machinery sheds, nine woolsheds, one dairy shed and 1285kms of fencing.

“After an emergency, the assessment of livestock for injury is essential and our field staff are continuing to visit properties affected by the fires across Gippsland. Farmers should also be aware that disease can spread more easily following an emergency.”

Agriculture Victoria will continue to work with property owners and managers beyond the fire events, providing advice on re-establishing pastures, managing livestock, soil management, water supply, and weed control.

Farmers with any injured livestock are asked to report it to Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 so their animal health staff can conduct an assessment.

For further information on fire recovery and support available, including accessing donated fodder, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au and click on Gippsland Fires.

Gippsland Farmer

The Gippsland Farmer is a monthly agricultural newspaper reporting on rural news and distributed FREE and direct to an area covering from Cann River through to South Gippsland. For more than 40 years Gippsland Farmer has reported on a range of issues and industries including dairy, beef, vegetables, sheep, goats, poultry, organic farming, and viticulture.