Sheep graziers warned of harsh weather

FARMERS with sheep have been warned to shelter their livestock from today's cold temperatures, showers and wind.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning to south-west graziers, with a high risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.

Between 10 and 15mm of rainfall has been forecast in the south-west today, with Warrnambool's maximum of 19 degrees the coldest day since January 7.

Fresh west to southwesterly winds are expected, particularly during the afternoon and evening.

According to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, cold stress particularly impacts the welfare of new born lambs and recently shorn sheep. 

Proper and sufficient shelter, as well as freedom to move, are requirements outlined in Section 9 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. 

Merino ewes in particular may not actively seek shelter, but studies have shown the provision of shelter can substantially reduce lamb mortality. 

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