An emergency animal welfare hotline for flood-affected farmers, landowners and communities in Northern NSW has been set up by the NSW Government for immediate assistance if dealing with stranded, injured or perished livestock.
The emergency hotline for assistance with stock or animal welfare issues is 1800 814 647.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said while the focus currently is human evacuation and safety in the most severely affected areas, there is significant work being undertaken to ensure support is given to farmers to rescue stock and other animals.
"The NSW Government is providing assistance to primary producers for animal assessment, emergency veterinary assistance and emergency fodder where access allows, coordinated through the DPI State Coordination Centre and the Agricultural and Animal Services Functional Area," Mr Saunders said.
"We also have 22 evacuation centres currently operating in Northern NSW, with urgent assistance available for injured or at-risk pets and domestic animals.
"An emergency hotline - 1800 814 647 - has been activated for people to request assistance for livestock and other animals.
"Members of the community should also call the emergency hotline number if they come across stranded, lost, injured or dead livestock, so that we can arrange to attend to these animals. Anyone who calls Service NSW on 13 77 88 seeking support for an animal will also be passed on to this coordination centre.
"We know that these flood waters will continue to move down stream in the coming days and we encourage livestock owners to take the opportunity to move stock to higher ground, if possible."
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said that even though landholders are understandably desperate to return to their properties to assess damage, floodwater remains high in many areas and people should exercise caution.
"The messaging remains clear; never drive, ride or walk through floodwater, keep listening to your local radio station for information and advice, and activate your emergency plans when necessary," Ms Cooke said.
"The extent and range of impacts to the primary industries sector will become apparent in the coming days and weeks. I encourage landholders to report that damage through the NSW Government's online natural disaster damage survey."
In a release, the government said to keep up to date with the latest information, visit www.nsw.gov.au/floods, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/emergencies/emergency or www.lls.nsw.gov.au/help-and-advice/emergency-and-biosecurity/floods.
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