Farmers warned to prepare for extreme heat conditions

Phil Hayman at Harbour City Vet in Gladstone ensuring Milly gets enough water. Animal and livestock owners have been urged to make sure they are prepared for a predicted heatwave.
Phil Hayman at Harbour City Vet in Gladstone ensuring Milly gets enough water. Animal and livestock owners have been urged to make sure they are prepared for a predicted heatwave. Kerry Thomas

FARMERS are being urged to prepare for forecast extreme heat conditions forecast for large areas of the east coast over the next few days..

NSw Department of Primary Inudstries emergency manager, Simon Oliver, said the mercury was tipped to soar across much of the State tomorrow and into the weekend, with temperatures in many areas expected to easily exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

"Farmers need to put in place plans for livestock and animals, which can be impacted by extreme heat," Mr Oliver said.

"Heatwaves can be fatal for livestock, particularly for at risk animals such as lambs and calves, older animals or animals in poor condition.

"Intensive industries such as dairies, feedlots, poultry and pigs need to take particular care in hot weather.

"Other impacted industries include livestock transport, abattoirs and saleyards and animal holding establishments such as zoos, kennels and vet clinics.

"On top of livestock fatalities, heatwaves can cause significant losses of production right across our agricultural industries including horticultural and cropping."  

In preparing for extreme heat conditions, DPI offers some common sense advice for farmers and producers:

  • Ensure shade is available to protect animals from sun and wind.
  • Ensure stock have easy access to cool, clean water, preferably close to shaded areas. Animals can drink up to double the amount of water in hot weather.
  • Stock movements should be minimised and animals should only be moved in the cool part of the day.
  • Monitor livestock regularly and check for any signs of heat exposure, including sweating, excessive panting and drooling.

"Poultry are very susceptible to heat and poultry farmers need to ensure water and cooling infrastructure is well maintained and contingency plans are in place for back-up power and water supplies," Mr Oliver said.

"Livestock carriers also need to take special care, including planning out their journeys and knowing how to deal with unexpected delays or breakdowns."

Topics:  animal health, heat wave, livestock



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