Bolt from the blue kills 12 ewes near Armidale

SHEEP sheltering from an electrical storm at Kelly’s Plains have been killed after lightning struck the tree under which they were standing.

The 12 sheep were killed on Tuesday afternoon last week at Michael and Catherine Kimmorley’s Wiltipoll sheep stud, Anvil.

The deaths represent a loss of $5000 of income, but it’s not a cost that will be covered by insurance. 

Ms Kimmorley said although they had farm insurance, they didn’t have livestock insurance. 

“We’ll just have to wear the cost, which is a shame,” she said. 

Ms Kimmorley said a group of about 20 ewes were sheltered under the Chinese poplar when the storm struck at 2.30pm, but it was half an hour later that she realised what had happened.

“I walked past and four or five stood up and the rest were all lying there,” she said. 

“The ones standing close to the trunk were electrocuted.” 

Meanwhile, some other ewes standing nearby suffered minor lacerations when they were hit by flying bark. 

Ms Kimmorley said she heard there had been about 30 lightning strikes in 15 minutes. 

NSW Farmers Association northern regional services manager Stuart Murdoch said he heard of similar incidents happening in Queensland.

“It’s not very common, but it does happen,” he said.

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