Landholders and community members have been encouraged to report any deceased livestock left by the recent floods so that it can be removed and disposed of.
Incident Controller Simon Oliver said the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) were working with animal owners in affected areas to manage impacts on stock and companion animals, and to ensure deceased livestock is disposed of quickly and safely.
“We understand the discovery of deceased livestock and pets is very distressing to community, and especially livestock owners,” Mr Oliver said.
“This flooding disaster has sadly seen stock losses across large areas of the North Coast, Mid Coast and Hunter and Greater Sydney areas, where floodwaters impacted farmland.
“The emergency response remains focused on the preservation of life, but as flood waters begin to recede the access to these areas is improving and landholders and other community members may begin to encounter deceased stock and other animals.
“We are working to locate and safely remove any carcasses as quickly as possible to help producers deal with the immediate impact and to reduce the risk of disease and contamination.
NSW DPI and LLS respond to natural disasters together as the Agriculture and Animal Services Functional Area (AASFA).
“Agricultural and Animal Services is working closely with landholders, local councils, contractors and other agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Soil Conservation Service to remove deceased livestock from public and private land,” Mr Oliver said.
“It is too early at this stage to have a full understanding of stock losses, but AASFA will have a better understanding as waters recede and access to flooded areas improve.
“Flooded areas are often unsuitable for onsite burial, so where possible transport and burial of carcasses is being arranged through appropriate local sites.
“We have dedicated and highly skilled crews working across the impacted areas supporting and assisting landholders with this difficult task, which we understand is also taking a large emotional toll on many producers.
“We also understand it can be a shock for community members to encounter deceased stock so we appreciate the effort that goes into reporting these incidents. If people are able to take a note or photo of any tags, brands or ear markings on the stock when reporting them that will help us support the stock owners through this process.”
Members of the public who encounter a deceased animal can report it to Agriculture and Animal Services hotline on 1800 814 647.
Landholders can register with the Agriculture and Animal Services hotline on 1800 814 647 if they need assistance with animal assessment and disposal.