Hundreds of livestock have been injured, killed or are still missing following a series of earthquakes in the central region of Italy.

This is according to the Italian farmers’ association, Coldiretti, who estimate the cost of the damage will exceed €300m. 

This estimate includes the level of damage caused to winter crops, where entire crops of winter vegetables may have been lost, as well as the commercial losses due to difficulties in collecting milk, according to Coldiretti.

The association believes there is about 3,000 thousand farms and stables buried by snow in the affected areas.

Source: Twitter

Source: Coldiretti Twitter

Close to 5,600 cattle and sheep are currently without shelter from the cold and snow in the earthquake affected areas.

Italian farmers and the emergency services have been busy trying to free farm animals that have been trapped under stables and sheds which collapsed under the weight of heavy snowfall and the recent tremors.

Meanwhile, Coldiretti estimated that only a fraction of the protection structures to protect animals have been completed so far.

The emergency has extended to the dairy sector, which has seen the level of milk production in the area drop by 50% due to power outages, the Italian farmers’ association said.

In an effort to clear roads, farmers have equipped their tractors with snowploughs so milk collection services can resume and deliveries of animal feed can be made.

These farmers in the central region of Italy were also affected by a number of earthquakes last November.

A series of nine tremors were recorded in the central region of Italy on Wednesday, January 18, affecting regions such as Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo.

The earthquakes, which varied in strength from 4.1 to 5.3 on the Richter scale, took place between 9am and 4pm on Wednesday.

A number of people have been killed following the earthquakes, which also triggered avalanches in some areas, as well as an estimated 15,000 people being left homeless.