Bushfire preparation for livestock owners
Alexandra Stephens, District Veterinarian, Yass
Posted Flock & Herd March 2020
The following list provides some of the actions you can take to maximise your ability to respond to an emergency and minimise the damage to your farm and livestock.
- Prepare adequate low-risk areas where stock can access water, but the potential bushfire fuel is minimal. These paddocks should be large enough to allow stock to move away from the fire and ideally be protected by a road or a 3-6 m ploughed fire break. Low-risk areas include chewed out paddocks, ploughed paddocks, irrigated paddocks, or green summer crops.
- Consideradequate current insurance for the value of your stock and infrastructure (fences, fodder and sheds and yards).
- Take an inventoryand photographs of all your stock, fodder, farm sheds and machinery, building interiors and exteriors in case of a claim.
- Ensure all your animals are identified, ideally with NLIS ear tags and that all horses, cats and dogs are microchipped.
- Consider keeping hay stored at multiple locations to minimise risk of loss. Ensure sheds are protected with a fire break or that fuel levels around them are minimised.
- Have backup copies ofimportant farm documentsand records or be able to grab them if you need to evacuate.
- Install the Fires Near Me NSW app on your phone and listen to your local ABC radio for updates on fire situations.
- Know the phone number of your local RFS brigade captain and get involved with your local brigade. In a bush fire situation there is an important job for everybody.
- Have an evacuation plan for your pets, horses and chickens. Do you have cages or floats on hand? In the case of a bushfire, safe local evacuation centres are set up to which you can evacuate your stock. Ring your Local Land Services for details.
- Equip all your farm vehicles, tractors and bikes with fire extinguishers and a shovel. Also consider equipping your vehicles with fence cutters, water, phone chargers, woollen blankets, and appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Remind all your staff that welding, harvesting grinding or slashing is not permitted on high fire risk days.
Please see the following link for comprehensive preparation information.
Before an emergency - NSW Department of Primary Industries at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
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