Flooding kills half a million cattle in Australia

Queensland received three years’ worth of average rainfall in a week (Photo: Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
Queensland received three years’ worth of average rainfall in a week (Photo: Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)

The death toll of cattle in Australia has exceeded half a million head following a massive monsoonal flood in Queensland.

More than 500,000 cattle have been killed and another 150,000 in danger of starving to death as a result of the catastrophic natural disaster.

Farmers have watched their herds wiped out in a matter of days after the unprecedented floods, which follows nearly eight years of drought.

Some Queensland cattle stations remain underwater, while other say they are taking the clean up a step at a time. The full extent of the losses won’t be known for weeks.



Australian farmers typically sell cows for AUS$500, and it is estimated that the half a million dead cattle could mean losses of up to AUS$300 million.



Michael Guerin, CEO of Queenland organisation AgForce, said: “The speed and intensity of the unfolding tragedy makes it hard to believe that it’s just a week since farmers’ elation at receiving the first decent rains in five years turned to horror at the devastating and unprecedented flood that quickly followed.”

The group, which represents Queensland farmers, has sent emergency fodder to more than 150,000 head of cattle that have no other access to feed.

He added: “I implore governments of all levels, as well as other agencies involved in this mammoth undertaking, to put aside red tape, bureaucratic wrangling and patch protection, and understand the desperate situation of so many producers.”

“There is no doubt that this is a disaster of unprecedented proportion.”