The local community is being asked to record the headcount of livestock on their properties in order to map stock numbers and land use as part of the NSW Government’s Annual Land and Stock Return.

The Local Land Services said with the threat of emergency animal diseases getting closer to Australia, this information was “crucial” for safeguarding the State.

“With Foot and Mouth and Lumpy Skin Disease recently detected in some of our closest neighbouring countries, your stock return information has never been more important,” Local Land Services Regional Operations Executive Director Rob Kelly said. “We rely on this information when a biosecurity outbreak or emergency like flood or bushfire occurs.”

“If an Emergency Animal Disease outbreak occurs, our expert vet teams rely on your Annual Land and Stock Return information to map livestock numbers, plan control programs and support landholders,” Mr Kelly said.

“Stock returns play a crucial role in safeguarding NSW’s agriculture industry and protecting our market access for producers.”

Also, for landholders who do not have any livestock but utilise their property for horticulture or cropping, “we still need you to complete your return to ensure you do not incur additional livestock charges on your rates and to make certain our records are up to date in case of emergencies”.

These residents should tick ‘no stock’ when submitting their return. This will help “build a stronger picture of land use across NSW and tailor our biodiversity and agriculture programs to assist you”, according to Local Land Services.

“The information also determines whether the animal health rate and meat industry levies are charged on your rates notice the following year,” Mr Kelly said.

The Annual Land and Stock Return can be completed via Local Land Services online customer portal or by filling out and posting back the paper form mailed to customers. The Annual Return and Stock Returns is due by 31 August 2022.

For more information, visit: http://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/alsr