Australia’s beef industry is expected to be severely hit and could take several decades to recover
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.
"Sea of dead cattle": Massive floods that hit Australia's Queensland state likely killed hundreds of thousands of cattle, as images show scores of animals trapped on patches of high ground surrounded by water, or dead and dying in the mud— The Ankara Times (@TheAnkaraTimes) February 8, 2019
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.
Australia’s biggest cattle company (AACo), has updated the market on QLD floods and the impact on its stations- including the “extreme losses” expected on Wondoola Station $AAC pic.twitter.com/utvT3iOxd9— Matt Brann (@MattBrannRURAL) February 10, 2019
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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