“Three of those are cattle and sheep grazed in the vicinity of the Esso Longford plant. On those three farms a total of 45 cattle and 45 sheep have been tested. In those animals, measurable levels of PFAs were detected in the serum.
“We’re also aware of another herd of cattle, a fourth, just cattle, that have been blood sampled for PFAS. But we’re not aware of the results. The Department of Defence is leading that investigation.”
Agriculture Victoria had purchased some of the PFAS-affected livestock in Gippsland to conduct its own longitudinal study on them, Dr Milne said, as there was little research in Australia or internationally about how long the chemicals linger in cattle, sheep and pigs.
Its initial tests on sheep showed PFAS levels dropped significantly within several weeks of them being moved to clear pasture, he said. He suspected that would take longer in cattle and pigs.
The EPA said it had only issued alerts in relation to