What are the Direct and Indirect Effects of Natural Disasters on Livestock?


Direct Effects of Natural Disasters on Livestock

i) People want to save their own lives and of their family members during disasters but tend to neglect the safety of their animals. Sometimes animals run away in panic.

ii) Death of animals due to collapse of cattle sheds during earthquakes and landslides. Even if there are no causalities, injures are often caused.


iii) It is reported that during the earthquake or during the cyclone, animals try to free themselves of the neck ropes or metal chains. Sometimes, death takes place in this struggle by way of ‘asphyxiation’.

iv) Drowning and washing away of animals in floods is most commonly reported.

v) Animals and birds are reported as being blown away during cyclone and high winds.

vi) Animals are stranded on isolated elevated places in case of floods or storm surges.


vii) Many a time, deaths of animal are caused by attacks through poisonous insects, snakes, rodents and leaches. Long-term starvation deaths are also common.

Indirect Effects of Natural Disasters on Livestock

There are many indirect effects of natural disaster on animal population. These can be summed up as follows;-

i) Wet conditions, after floods or cyclones, enhance the chances of infection by internal parasites like round worms, tapeworms, liver flukes as well as of many epidemic diseases, like Haemorrhagic Septicemia (HS), Black Quarter (BQ) of Anthrax.


ii) There can be non-specific water borne infections causing diarrhea and other enteric diseases.

iii) Water and moisture may lead to wet hair coats, sticking of blood sucking leaches, skin disorders and ectoparasites. Standing in wet surfaces or in water can cause ‘hoof-rot’ and result in lameness.

iv) Moisture leads to many respiratory disorders in the animals and birds.

v) Loss of weight in the animals is possible.


vi) Loss of production of milk is most often reported.

vii) Similarly, loss of production of eggs in the poultry is reported.

viii) Losses to the agriculture sector in shortage of ploughing animals are likely.

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