Industry moves to save livestock affected by bushfires

Livestock transport associations call on tray truck operators to help with Victoria's bushfire relief effort

By Samantha Freestone

Livestock transport associations are calling on tray truck operators to help with Victoria’s bush fire relief effort.

The Livestock Transporters Association of Victoria (LTAV) is trying to save the thousands of head of livestock by gathering a contact list of those available for service to forward on to authorities for use now and in the coming weeks.

LTAV President John Beer says help is needed in coordinating the efforts to manage stock affected by the bushfires.

Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA) President Robert Cavanagh says stock feed will also need to transported to some areas after the fires ravaged pasture country.

"What we are hoping to do now is put a list of contacts together, for the authorities, of carriers who might be available in coming weeks to be contracted to do some of this work," Cavanagh says.

"It is not signing your life away, just indicating you are happy to be asked by the authorities."

The Department of Primary Industries has informed the ALTA any work done in response to the bushfire relief effort will be paid for by the Victorian Government.

Adam Edyvane, who works for a family-run livestock transport company, is currently helping to muster and load livestock around the Pakenham area.

"It’s pretty heartbreaking really. Labertouche and Jindivick have been pretty heavily hit. They’ve lost all of their stock sheds and fencing, but many of them have managed to save their homes," Edyvane says.

Edyvane and volunteers have so far saved more than 240 head of cattle since beginning their rescue efforts on Sunday.

However, he says access is limited due to spot fires.

"They had some warning to put their stock somewhere where they could keep an eye on them but once the fire come, the fences are gone and they are off," Edyvane says.

"They [the livestock] are as scared as everyone else."

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