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Landholders urged to play it safe with their stock

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

Heatwave conditions with maximum temperatures exceeding 40 degrees and minimum temperatures remaining around 30 degrees have already occurred over the first six weeks of summer.

During these conditions, 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, Central West Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Jillian Kelly 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,” Jillian said.

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

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

“If the water is dirty, stock may reject it so landholders are advised to consider alternatives such as fencing off watering points and pumping water through troughs.

“Another aspect to consider is the effect that extreme heat could also be having on sheep in early gestation. Early embryos are particularly sensitive and could be terminated.

“Sheep producers who are currently joining should bear this in mind and consider leaving rams in a few weeks longer than they usually would.”

Central West landholders with any animal health questions regarding heat should contact their Local Land Services District Veterinarian:

  • Jillian Kelly, Coonamble, 0428 334 459
  • Nik Cronin, Forbes, 0429 499 284
  • Alix Ferguson, Coonabarabran, 0407 716 816
  • Erica Kennedy, Nyngan, 0438 842 365
  • Hanna Thomas, Condobolin, 0428 434 336
  • Evelyn Walker, Dubbo, 0428 270 802.

Visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au for further information on water requirements for sheep and cattle.

ENDS

Media contact: Fiona Townsend, 0428 284 252 or Fiona.townsend@lls.nsw.gov.au