Be aware, prepare for natural disasters

18 Dec 2017

The hot weather is upon us and producers, with the help of their veterinarians, are busy preparing their disaster management plans to minimise the loss of livestock from bushfires and other natural disasters.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is reminding producers, that if they haven’t yet put together their disaster plan, then they should contact their local veterinarian for assistance.

President of the AVA, Dr. Paula Parker, said that veterinarians are best placed to advise producers on disaster management plans.

“Vets play an indispensable role in helping farmers to ensure the health of livestock and to improve profitability. The job of cattle veterinarians is to partner with producers to ensure animal welfare is the top priority. This includes working together to minimise the risk of livestock loss and keeping them as safe as possible if disaster strikes,” Dr. Parker said.

Dr. Parker’s top tips on preparing livestock for natural disasters include:

  • Decide on a safe place to keep your livestock before disaster strikes. Think about whether you’ll be able to access your livestock after the event – particularly if it’s prone to flooding
  • If you think you’ll need to evacuate your livestock, work out the safest time to do so
  • If evacuation isn’t possible, move your livestock to the safest place on your property – assess the risk of injury from trees or flooding
  • If time permits, secure or remove loose items
  • Make sure livestock have access to safe food and water.

The AVA is currently running a campaign Be Aware, Prepare! to raise awareness of this important issue – for livestock producers and pet owners.

Information and brochures about protecting livestock from natural disasters are available on the AVA’s website at


For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health, and welfare.