Livestock losses on Kangaroo Island

Sunday 12 January 2020

As of Sunday 12 January, more than 32,000 stock have been lost in the bushfires on Kangaroo Island, however this may rise as reports of livestock losses are provided to Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

PIRSA staff have been undertaking agricultural impact assessments on Kangaroo Island following increased fire activity over the last few days, contacting over 200 affected livestock properties in the fire zone.

PIRSA are continuing to work with primary producers and supporting agencies to complete animal assessments and support recovery activities, including working with other agencies and the Australian Defence Force to transport hay to local farmers.

State Controller for Agriculture and Animal Services Professor Mehdi Doroudi said that PIRSA would continue to support affected producers following the new fire activity on Thursday 9 January.

“PIRSA animal health staff will continue working with local veterinary clinics to provide immediate assessment and advice to producers and animal owners,” said Professor Doroudi.

“This includes the inspection and assessment of injured livestock and their welfare, treatment of surviving animals, and humane destruction to relieve suffering.

“If farmers need assessment of burnt livestock they can contact the PIRSA hotline on 1800 255 556, other impacted primary producers are also asked to call the hotline to report agricultural losses on their properties.

“Those producers requiring assistance with livestock disposal the disposal and burial of livestock, covering existing burial pits or other tasks requiring heavy equipment, can also call the PIRSA hotline and we will coordinate with the Australian Defence Force on Kangaroo Island to perform this work.

“PIRSA officers are continuing to work with teams from South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM), as part of the wildlife assessment operations.

“We are working with Livestock SA and the Australian Defence Force to transport much-needed hay to the Island, and producers should call Livestock SA on 8297 2299 to access this resource,” he said.

Livestock SA has opened a depot at Cape Jervis for fodder donations and deliveries, which will also be a staging point for delivery to affected properties on the island.

The horticulture impact following the bushfires is still to be determined. Contact with affected producers, including viticulture, potatoes and other local produce has commenced.

PIRSA reminds any volunteers travelling to Kangaroo Island to make sure vehicles and equipment are clean. This will protect the unique farming and wildlife on the island from weeds, pests and diseases.

Bee products (including honey and wax), beehives, bees, beehive material and equipment must not be brought to the Island in order to protect the unique Ligurian bee from disease. Potatoes are also prohibited to protect the Island’s valuable seed potato industry.

Apiarists concerned about disposal, hive recovery or product contamination are encouraged to ring the PIRSA Apiaries Unit on 0408 812 698.

For assistance with injured and stray wildlife and companion animals please call SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) on 0477 055 233.

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Total confirmed losses as at Sunday, 12 January 2020

As at Sunday 12 January 2019, a total of 39,419 stock have been confirmed lost as a result of the fires across the state.

Kangaroo Island

Ravine and Duncan

208 livestock properties affected by the Ravine and Duncan fires. To date, the livestock losses are 32,864 but this could rise as stock losses are reported to PIRSA. Harvest is predominantly completed on Kangaroo Island, but 50ha is confirmed lost at Vivonne Bay. Softwood and hardwood plantations owned by Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers have been burned.

A total of 830 hives and 115 nucleus hives have been reported destroyed by the Kangaroo Island fires.

  • Alpacas – 65
  • Cattle – 517
  • Horses – 5
  • Other – 2
  • Sheep – 32,275


PIRSA has contacted all 8 registered properties with minimal stock losses reported.

Adelaide Hills

Cudlee Creek

All 543 properties affected by the Cudlee Creek (and Kersbrook) fire, who have stock registered with PIRSA have been contacted by officers. Follow up work is still continuing and reports of livestock, horticulture, viticulture and other relevant horticultural losses are still being verified. To date 3,772 have perished in these fires.

  • Alpacas – 23
  • Cattle – 292
  • Horses – 3
  • Other - 11
  • Poultry – 49
  • Sheep – 3,394

While information is still being received from affected vineyards, approximately 63 vineyards covering 1,100 hectares (30% of the Adelaide Hills wine region) are located within the Cudlee Creek fire ground with varying degrees of damage. Damage assessment is still underway for the horticultural industry with 12 horticultural properties located within the Cudlee Creek fire area. So far at least six horticultural businesses (apple, cherry and hazelnut orchards) are known to have received varying levels of damage. Approximately eight beekeepers have been impacted in this area with a reported 414 hives burnt. 151 ha of pine and blue gum plantations have been burnt.


18 hectares burnt. No livestock losses.

South East

Keilira and Coonalpyn

More than 23,000 ha has been burnt as a result of the Kilira fire with 20 registered properties so far impacted. Approximately 6,300 ha has been burnt in the Coonalpyn fire and total of 7 registered livestock properties have been contacted by PIRSA with no stock losses reported.

Livestock losses were 2,249 head of livestock (mainly sheep) have been confirmed lost. PIRSA officers have been visiting impacted properties in the area.

  • Alpacas – 200
  • Horses – 3
  • Cattle – 297
  • Other – 11
  • Poultry – 49
  • Sheep – 1,689 It is estimated that 606 hives have been burnt in the South East, affecting 5 apiarists.


There were 29 livestock producers in the fire scar. 534 livestock were lost. 1,563 ha of crops was burnt.

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