This report attempts to directly quantify the costs of losing livestock to disasters in order to present a comparison between the potential economic costs and the cost of livestock-oriented disaster planning. It is broken into four sections: (i) providing some background about what is included in this report, as well as briefly outlining the methodology used to estimate the impact of livestock losses on the economy; (ii) considering the importance of agriculture to the Australian economy as well as natural hazards faced in Australia; (iii) applying the evaluation model to disasters that have occurred in Australia; and (iv) discusses livestock-oriented disaster planning specific to bushfires and flooding.
The report is intended to inform discussions and investigation of the potential savings to the economy of evacuation or protection of livestock in times of disaster. It finds that 1.6 million farm animals died in a selection of 10 natural disasters resulting in direct economic loss of $217 million. The research suggests that the cost of disaster preparation is likely to be miniscule compared with the cost of livestock losses to farmers and the economy.
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