Skip to content

Landholders in the Western region urged to play it safe with their livestock

Western Local Land Services District Veterinarians are calling for landholders to be mindful of the impacts of the heat on their livestock with another week of high temperatures forecast.

During the first six weeks of summer, there have already been a number of heatwaves with maximum temperatures exceeding 40 degrees and minimum temperatures remaining around 30 degrees.

During these weather events, livestock producers are reminded there are a number of management practices that should be followed.

These include handling stock in the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or in the evening, and ensuring stock have access to sufficient amounts of good quality drinking water.

In addition to these measures, Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Felicity Wills said landholders need to consider the impacts of humidity and access to water points during the warmest times of the year.

“If the temperature is 35 degrees and the relative humidity is at 10 per cent, the apparent temperature of a sheep may be 32 degrees whereas if the relative humidity is at 50 per cent, the apparent temperature could increase to 41 degrees,” Ms Wills said.

“At this temperature, there will be damage to body tissues and an extreme danger of heat stress.

“When considering access to water, stock need access to good quality water. If water in dams and rivers is low, stock will wade through shallow water which fouls the water and increases the chances of stock bogging.

“If the water is dirty, stock may reject it so landholders need to consider fencing watering points and pumping water through troughs.”

Landholders with any animal health questions regarding heat should contact a Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian:

  • Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021
  • Hannah Williams, Balranald, 0439 830 280
  • Felicity Wills, Broken Hill, 0409 858 901.

Further information on water requirements for sheep and cattle can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website. 

Media contact:
Charlie Whiteley, Western Local Land Services, 0428 679 974.