Natural Disasters

500,000 cattle dead in Australia floods

Australia’s beef industry is expected to be severely hit and could take several decades to recover

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 13 February 2019
Queensland
Drovers rounding up cattle in the Queensland countryside during the dry season. Representational photo. Credit: Getty Images Drovers rounding up cattle in the Queensland countryside during the dry season. Representational photo. Credit: Getty Images

Cattle stations in Australia's Queensland state have been severely hit by floods that took place in the first 10 days of February 2019, with some industry estimates stating that as many as 500,000 cattle have died.

The north-western part of the state has especially suffered from drought for the past seven years. In early February, parts of the area received three years’ worth of average rainfall in a week.

Some Australian media outlets have put the damage to cattle stations at 500,000 animals. If this figure is true, the total financial damage would equal a staggering $213 million.

On social media, users tweeted photos and videos that revealed the scale and magnitude of the disaster.

 

The many carcasses of dead cattle littering the region could pose a health hazard to the human population if they are not disposed off soon, some media reports have warned.

Australia’s biggest beef producing company, AACo said that the floods in north-western Queensland had impacted 4 of its 21 properties. The most severely impacted property, it said, was the Wondoola station.

On February 11, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal government would provide an immediate ex gratia payment of $1m to affected areas. “This payment will be for them to use on priorities they deem most urgent, whether that be rate relief for impacted properties, infrastructure, or the disposal of cattle which have perished,” he was quoted as saying.

Since many cattle stations are still inaccessible by road, authorities have been dropping feed by air to marooned animals in some parts.

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