Bushfires killed 70,000 sheep, most of them on Kangaroo Island

Fires killed 70,000 sheep with most lost on Kangaroo Island

Sheep
RECOVERY BEGINS: Shearing gets underway on Meadow Lea station on Kangaroo Island.

RECOVERY BEGINS: Shearing gets underway on Meadow Lea station on Kangaroo Island.

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Around 70,000 sheep were lost in the recent bushfires with most killed on Kangaroo Island.

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The recent horror bushfires killed 70,000 sheep with 80 per cent of them on South Australia's Kangaroo Island.

More than a third of the island was hit by the devastating fires in January.

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) has investigated what impact the fires have had on sheep numbers and shorn wool production in response to concerns from the wool trade.

Data provided to the AWPFC by state government authorities indicate sheep losses were 70,000 out of a total Australian flock of about 68 million.

Assuming 40pc of these sheep would have been shorn between February and June 2020 at an average of 4kg of greasy wool per head, the AWPFC expected the impact of the fires on shorn wool production in 2019-20 will be about 112,000 greasy kg.

That represents just 0.04pc of the current AWPFC forecast for this selling season of 272 million kg greasy.

AWPFC said while the expected impact on Australian shorn wool production would be minor relative to the impact of the drought in key wool producing regions, it acknowledged some producers in the affected areas had lost a substantial proportion of their flock and infrastructure.

Kangaroo Island runs about 500,000 sheep.

The carryover impact of the bushfires on shorn wool production next season will be considered when the AWPFC meets at the end of April and provides its first forecast for 2020-21 selling season.

The story Bushfires killed 70,000 sheep, most of them on Kangaroo Island first appeared on Farm Online.

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