Agriculture Victoria is urging livestock owners to enact their fire plans ahead of high-risk fire days.
State Agriculture Relief Commander Sharyn Williams said livestock owners would need to locate evacuation routes, decide which animals to evacuate, have an emergency medical kit and identify emergency accommodation for animals.
“We have seen fires over the past fortnight take a toll on our communities and agriculture,” Ms Williams said.
“Let’s do all we can to safeguard ourselves and our animals.”
Ms Williams said part of a fire plan should be moving animals to designated low-risk paddocks early in the day.
“Don’t let livestock or horses onto roads as they cause a huge risk to public safety and to themselves, particularly in smoky conditions.”
Ms Williams said equipment such as horse rugs and nylon or plastic halters should be removed, water troughs should be filled and landowners should put out enough feed for five days.
She said livestock owners should take a few minutes to ensure their Property Identification Code information was up-to-date with correct contact details to enable relief and recovery teams to get in touch with affected livestock owners.
She said generally livestock tolerated smoke and ash from fires very well, however, if people were concerned about livestock or pets, they should contact a vet immediately.
Livestock owners should report any livestock injuries to Agriculture Victoria by dialling the Vic Emergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and selecting option ‘0’ and then ‘4’ to speak to an operator to arrange for animal health staff to visit and assess livestock.
Livestock owners do not need to wait for Agriculture Victoria staff to visit to euthanise impacted livestock if they are confident they can do so humanely and safely.
The VFF, working with Agriculture Victoria, is leading the drive to provide fodder to affected farmers.
Depots have been established at the Corryong Saleyards and Bairnsdale Aerodrome where fodder can be delivered and collected.
Livestock owners who need emergency fodder, and those who want to donate fodder to help out, should contact the VFF on 1300 882 833 or email: email@example.com
More information and updates on support services are available on the Agriculture Victoria website at: agriculture.vic.gov.au
To stay up to date on emergency conditions, download the Vic Emergency app: www.emv.vic.gov.au/responsibilitiesvictorias-warning-system/vicemergency