Livestock Welfare this Dry Season

AUSTRALIA - With the recent dry weather set to continue, Biosecurity Queensland is urging livestock owners to take appropriate measures to ensure the welfare of their stock.
calendar icon 4 October 2012
clock icon 1 minute read

Biosecurity Queensland officer Ian Rodger said there were a number of options that producers should consider to ensure animal welfare standards were met during this potentially stressful time for their livestock.

"As pastures dry out and feed availability, palatability and nutrient content are reduced, producers should ensure stocking rates are adjusted to suit the seasonal conditions and consider when they should be implementing normal dry season supplementation to increase protein and palatability of dry standing feed to stock," he said.

"They should also regularly check watering points to ensure adequate supply of good quality water."

Mr Rodger said livestock owners should consider implementing farm risk management plans as seasonal conditions changed.

"It´s important for producers to be prepared for changing seasonal weather conditions," he said.

"Having a plan in place that includes acceptable animal welfare standards will help producers to proactively manage any potential issues associated with the dry season."

Risk management plans should include:

  • reduction of stock numbers to sales or better ;
  • early weaning;
  • separating animals based on size and strength to minimise competition for supplements, and
  • monitor herds to ensure no animals are suffering unduly.

With recent good seasons and plentiful dry pasture the dry weather brings a heightened risk of bushfires, so livestock owners should ensure stock can be moved easily in the event of a bushfire.

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