For an enterprise, business insurance is obtained in order to protect the company’s assets. For a farm, this is no different with livestock being one of the most valuable components of a farming business.

But just how important are livestock? With research indicating their value is increasing, it is important that these assets are protected. For some, this could be through obtaining farm insurance that includes assets such as livestock.

How valuable are your livestock?

Recent analysis from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates that a strengthening global demand for certain livestock has increased their gross value. The research states that livestock disposals have risen by 27 per cent over the 12 months preceding June 2015, perhaps due to their increasing value.

ABS Director of Rural Environment and Agricultural Statistics Kate Hutt noted the high prices of cattle, sheep and lamb, and the implications for many farmers,

“The gross value of disposals of cattle and calves in Australia increased rapidly from $8.5 billion in 2013-14 to $11.5 billion in 2014-15. Strong international demand has resulted in higher prices for cattle products, providing an incentive for farmers to slaughter a greater proportion of their herd,” said Ms Hutt.

“For sheep and lambs, the gross value of disposals also increased, up 25 per cent to $3.3 billion. A high rate of disposals during spring in 2014-15, leading to lower lamb numbers in the 2014-15 summer, contributed to the increase.”

For farmers, it has become even more important to financially protect assets such as livestock and to find ways to minimise the risk of an accident.

Protecting livestock

According to the Queensland government, wild dogs and other predators are a significant risk to livestock. One way to limit attacks is by investing in a “guardian animal” to protect assets, which the state government has found effective.

Research undertaken by the state Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in conjunction with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre indicated that guard dogs are an effective means of protecting cattle and other farm animals. The Queensland government noted that the limited studies on other guardian animals, be it a donkey or a llama, means they cannot conclude the same success.

Nevertheless, the state government also stated the importance of having a well-trained guard dog. If not, problems could arise such as breeding with stray dogs or even attacking the farm animals they are supposed to be protecting.

As accidents do occur, it is important that valuable livestock are adequately financially protected. Ensure your farm insurance includes the right protection for your individuals farm’s needs and takes into consideration the high value of these assets.