News last update:7 Aug 2012

Cattle numbers down after Australian floods

Cattle farms in Queensland, Australia are expecting "massive losses" as floods have damaged the area, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke said.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, flood waters have started to recede across the state, but at the height of the disaster the size of the flood was equal to that of the state of South Australia.

"It'll take the first muster in May or June, before we know exactly what the cattle numbers are," Burke told Sky News. "And some cattle, the stronger ones, can swim for a couple of weeks. However, most of the calves for the last breeding season won't have survived," he said.

"Queensland is the calf factory for the Australian beef industry, so there will be some very significant challenges in total beef numbers," he added.

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