Impact of pet, livestock loss researched
RESEARCHER and psychologist Shuron Billman is undertaking research through Charles Sturt University into the psychological impact caused by pet and livestock loss following the 2013Wide Bay and Burnett floods.
Ms Billman said very little attention had been given to the troubles that some people went through as a result of pet loss or death, including farmers.
“Traditionally, farmers have been viewed as having a ‘business-like’ relationship with their animals due to their procurement and mass,” Ms Billman said.
“However, such emotional ambivalence is at odds with farming legacy, espousing high-level pastoral care, which is central to a farmer’s identity and culture.”
According to Ms Billman, the psychological effects of animal loss incurred by farmers may be substantial as they face ongoing weather challenges.
It has been more than two years since the January 2013 floods and many farmers haven’t recovered.
“Some have been forced to foreclose their properties, euthanise their animals, and sadly, there has been an increase in the number of suicides in the rural farming population,” Ms Billman said.
Her world-first study attempts to address this investigative shortfall by sampling from urban and rural farming populations and investigating whether any differences between the cohorts exist.
The researcher is currently recruiting residents to complete the online study survey via http://www.surveymonkey. com/s/Jan2013Floods.
WORLD-FIRST STUDY: Shuron Billman with her two dogs, Inu and Georgie.