Livestock health and welfare following a flood
25 May 2022
There are many potential issues for producers to consider in the aftermath of the major flood event that hit the North Coast earlier this year and the significant ongoing rainfall since. The North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team can provide advice for producers for ongoing management of their livestock health and welfare.
In the short term, there is the immediate work involved in repairing infrastructure such as fence-lines and laneways and ensuring that immediate animal welfare responsibilities such as provision of adequate food, water and shelter are met.
A very important consideration is the increased potential for certain livestock diseases.
The major diseases for producers to remain vigilant for include:
- gastrointestinal diseases such as yersinia (mud scours)
- parasites such as barbers pole worms, small intestinal worms, stomach, and liver fluke
- lameness as the result of trauma to softened hooves and lower leg skin
- bacterial infections of the hoof
- mastitis (in beef or dairy animals)
- clostridial infections, including blackleg and botulism
- toxicities due to poisonous plants
Steps that producers can take to minimize the risk for these conditions include:
- prevent access to animal carcasses
- always provide access to clean, fresh drinking water
- consider moving stock from pasture with heavy soil contamination where possible
- testing cattle for intestinal worms and fluke and then treating if required
- ensuring that all 5-in-1 and 7-in-1 vaccines are up to date in cattle or that 3-in1 or 6-in-1 vaccines are up to date in sheep
- the use of a botulism vaccine is highly recommended for all cattle producers
- Monitor paddocks for new weeds that may have come in with floods or feed.
If you have any immediate animal disease concerns regarding your livestock or would like more information on livestock diseases following the floods, please contact either your private veterinarian or the North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team on 1300 795 299.
Mindy Greenwood, Communications Officer – 0405 352 320, firstname.lastname@example.org
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