The current situation in Queensland with peak level flood waters and continuing rainfall has left large numbers of cattle displaced.
In late December 2010, livestock, horse and pet owners were urged to put contingency plans in place for caring for and monitoring their animals in the event that predicted heavy rainfall should cause emergency action to be taken.
Animal Biosecurity and Welfare in the State also stressed the importance of ensuring all livestock bears some form of identification so they can be identified and returned should they become displaced.
Furthermore, farmers should ensure all stock registers are up to date and kept in a safe place.
These identification markings, such as brands, are now allowing biosecurity officers at Biosecurity Queensland National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) to assist with the replacement of displaced cattle.
“Any person finding stray cattle on their property can contact the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 and follow the prompts to Biosecurity Queensland,” says NLIS principal project office, Michael Lancaster.
“It’s important landholders comply with NLIS requirements in these situations.
“Because of the possibility of disease outbreaks in the aftermath of floods and other disasters, it is imperative to have good traceability of cattle,” he adds.
Alternatively, anyone who finds stray cattle on their property can use the online electronic brands register (http://ibrands.dpi.qld.gov.au/) to determine the owner of the livestock.
Furthermore, people are also able to email Biosecurity Queensland’s NLIS administration at NLIS_admin@dpi.qld.gov.au for assistance.
“If emailing, be sure to include all relevant information, including the 16 visual characters on the NLIS tag, and your contact information,” Lancaster informs.
Cattle displaced to immediate neighbours can be returned home as soon as practical whether NLIS tagged or not with no database transfer required, however a waybill is required.
If NLIS tagged cattle is found further afield they can also be returned to their home property, however there are reporting requirements including notifying the NLIS database.
The local council or pound keeper can be contacted for advice if cattle found is unable to be identified.