Compensation in an Emergency Animal Disease outbreak

About compensation in an Emergency Animal Disease outbreak

In the event of a declared Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) outbreak, financial compensation will be available to livestock owners and business that experience livestock or property losses as a direct result of the disease.

Financial compensation ensures that eligible impacted animal owners and businesses are reimbursed for livestock or property losses in the event of an outbreak of an EAD including:

  • avian influenza
  • foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Compensation plays an important role in encouraging early reporting of suspect cases to limit the spread of an EAD.

Compensation may not be paid where the owner fails to notify authorities or has unreasonably delayed notification of the existence of disease, or where the owner is convicted of an offence which caused or contributed to the disease outbreak.


The owner of any livestock or property that is destroyed or ordered to be destroyed under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 for the purpose of control, eradication or prevention of the spread of the compensable exotic disease will be eligible for compensation.

The owner of livestock that dies of a compensable exotic disease, as certified by an inspector, will also be eligible for compensation.

Compensation and valuation

Under the Livestock Disease Control Act compensation can be paid for domestic livestock, livestock product, and property (premises, fodder, fittings or vehicles) destroyed for the purposes of controlling, eradicating or preventing spread of an exotic disease, and for any domestic livestock that is certified by an inspector (Inspector of Livestock, an LDCA Authorised Officer) as having died of an exotic disease.

Compensation is set at the market value of livestock on the date of the earliest of the following events:

  • When a livestock vet or government inspector was notified about the diseased livestock;
  • When broad movement restrictions were imposed on livestock through an order; or
  • When the government was notified, the livestock was affected by or died of the disease.

Compensation does not cover consequential losses, i.e. loss of profit, loss occasioned by breach of contract, loss of production or any other consequential losses.

The value of livestock or property is calculated based on farmgate value – i.e., if the sale were to take place where the stock or property was when it was destroyed or where the stock was when it died of the disease.

The value of animals is determined as if they were disease free and will take into account their age, sex, breed, body condition, live-weight, production records and other factors relevant to their class.

Local market value is the primary basis for valuation, reflecting the value of comparable animals at the most recent local livestock markets before the valuation date.

Consistent standard valuations will generally be used for non-stud/non-elite classes of stock and based on nationally developed methodologies developed by industry and government. All other classes of livestock (e.g., stud stock) will be valued on a case-by-case basis.

Valuation preferably takes place before livestock are destroyed, however when this is not possible or animals have already died as a result of an EAD, valuations can occur after and be supported by photos/videos or other evidence to support claims.

For property (such as livestock products, fittings, fodder, equipment or vehicles), compensation is assessed as the value of the property immediately prior to destruction.

If agreement cannot be reached between the livestock owner and authorities, the value of the animals/property will be determined by a person who has experience in the arbitration of disputes as nominated by the Minister for Agriculture.

A livestock owner does not need a pre-determined inventory or an existing valuation of livestock to be eligible for compensation. An accurate and regularly updated inventory and valuation of livestock and product may assist authorities in the valuation process but will not necessarily be a determinant of final values during an outbreak and does not determine eligibility for compensation.

Who will value the stock

The value of any livestock will be determined by agreement between the owner of the livestock and a valuer nominated by the Minister, who has the qualifications, experience or training to undertake valuations of that type.

Valuers may be experienced stock inspectors (government employees), licensed stock and station agents, and people with specialist knowledge.

For land, buildings and other property, valuers may be registered valuers or members, for example, of the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association, The Australian Property Institute or the Australian Livestock Markets’ Association.


With the approval of the Secretary, an additional amount of compensation may be payable if the market value of the livestock has increased by the time movement restrictions are lifted and restocking occurs.  This “top-up” payment represents the difference between the amount paid at the time the livestock were destroyed or died as a result of an EAD, and the market value at the time the restrictions on the movement of the livestock ended. Replacement livestock must be similar or as close as reasonably possible to the same quality and quantity of livestock that were destroyed.

This payment depends on the circumstances of the outbreak and is made at the discretion of the Secretary.

Reporting an Emergency Animal Disease

Report any unusual signs or suspected cases of emergency animal disease immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. Early reporting increases the chance of effective control and eradication.

Page last updated: 07 Jun 2024