News

Caring for animals during heat

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Animal owners are being reminded to take appropriate precautions to ensure they are properly cared for during the extreme temperatures forecast across the state this week.


Chief Veterinary Officer, Mary Carr, said there are a number of actions animal owners can take to reduce the adverse impact extreme heat can have on animal health and wellbeing.

"Where possible make sure there is enough shade for your animals to seek shelter and protection from the blazing sun, with plenty of water supplied nearby," Dr Carr said.

"During high temperatures animals can drink up to double their normal intake so it’s important they have access to sufficient cool water."

"If possible animals should be kept away from dams which may become boggy and a danger for any stock seeking water.

"Large and clean drinking troughs should be used, as evaporation may make trough water become saline and undrinkable. In hot weather troughs should be inspected daily to make sure they are working properly.

"Burying feeder pipes will help control water temperature and prevent breakages."

Dr Carr said that during extreme temperatures animals should be checked regularly to make sure they are coping with the heat.

"Livestock owners should check on animals daily for signs of heat stress such as sweating, panting, and drooling. Stock may also be restless and start bellowing."

"Transport of animals both on and off the farm should be minimised during periods of extreme heat. If stock movement is absolutely necessary, then it should only be done during the night or early morning when temperatures are normally lower.

"Livestock transporters should also have contingency plans in case of an unexpected breakdown, as per national guidelines for the movement of livestock.

"Pet owners should also make sure animals have enough shade and water, and consider keeping pets inside on hot days. Ice packs and wet towels can used to help cool them down."

For more information and advice on animal care during heatwave periods visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/emergency_management/caring_for_livestock_during_a_heatwave.

More details about the national welfare laws governing the movement of livestock can be found at www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/land-transport.

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