Following large livestock losses in the floods, residents across the North Coast, Greater Sydney and Hunter regions have been encouraged to report any sightings of drowned animals.
Agriculture and Animal Services Flood Response Director Leigh Pilkington said while the discovery of deceased animals can be distressing, it is important they are disposed of quickly and safely.
“We appreciate that finding these animals can be quite traumatic, particularly for their owners,” Dr Pilkington said.
“Due to the nature and sheer scale of these floods, it is very hard to predict where deceased animals will be found, some can be washed hundreds of kilometres away.
“As flood waters begin to recede and access to previously isolated areas is improving, landholders and the wider community may find drowned stock and other animals in areas you wouldn’t expect.
“Deceased livestock do pose a human health risk, but by reporting them immediately, we can work to remove them as quickly as possible and reduce the risk of disease and contamination.
“NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services will continue to work with landholders, local councils, contractors and other agencies to remove carcasses and find appropriate sites for burial.”
Members of the public who encounter a deceased animal can report it to the Agriculture and Animal Services hotline on 1800 814 647.
NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services respond to natural disasters together as the Agriculture and Animal Services Functional Area (AASFA).
Mr Oliver has encouraged flood-affected landholders to keep registering their requests for assistance via the hotline.
“By calling the hotline, our teams can assess your request and your individual circumstances, finding the best and safest way to help,” Dr Pilkington said.
“If people are able to take a note of any tags, brands or ear markings on the stock, as well as information about current location and a description of the animals, that will help us support the stock owners through this process.”
Landholders can register with the Agriculture and Animal Services hotline on 1800 814 647 if they need assistance with animal assessment and disposal.