Call to assess livestock after fires

Livestock owners affected by the East Gippsland and North East/Upper Murray fires are being encouraged to report any livestock injuries.

Agriculture Victoria staff have so far conducted more than 50 initial assessments at affected properties and will continue to work with landholders to assess injured livestock.

Agriculture Victoria Incident Agency Commander Brett Harrison said a mix of dairy, beef and sheep farms have been affected and a clearer picture of the extent of the impacts will emerge in coming days as field staff are given access to fire grounds.

“We have been on the ground since Tuesday working to support farmers who are dealing with the impact of these fires on their livestock,” Mr Harrison said.

“In many cases farmers are still waiting to get access to their properties, but it’s important once they do they examine livestock quickly and report any injuries to Agriculture Victoria.”

Landholders should report any livestock injuries to Agriculture Victoria by dialling 1800 226 226 and selecting option “0” and then “4” to speak to an operator to arrange for animal health staff to visit and assess livestock.

Landholders do not need to wait for Agriculture Victoria staff to visit to euthanise impacted livestock if they are confident they can do so humanely and safely.

Pets can also be affected by fires, with smoke inhalation a common issue. If you have concerns your pets have been affected by smoke you should seek advice from your local vet.

For many farmers, the destruction of large areas of pasture by the fires means feeding their animals is a challenge.

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is leading the drive to provide fodder to affected farmers and is establishing depots where fodder can be delivered and collected.

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