By Janie Jordan
THE local livestock saleyard industry has welcomed today’s announcement from the Minister for Agriculture and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, who confirmed that livestock saleyards and wool auctions are able to continue.
The Federal Government has deemed saleyards are an essential part of the broader agriculture supply chain because of their importance to the nation.
“Interruptions to livestock saleyards could impact adversely on the availability and price of meat,” said Mr Littleproud.
Brett Peel, Saleyard Supervisor at Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre said he was “relieved” and that the announcement was a big plus for people.
He, like agent, Warwick Clydesdale, a director with Davidson, Cameron & Co, were very supportive of the Government’s move to keep the essential supply chain open.
“It’s a great announcement,” said Warwick.
“It’s essential that we keep the meat supply open for consumers, that cattle can leave the feedlots and that we keep the economy moving,” he said.
“Animal welfare is important. When feedlot cattle are ready, they need to go,” he said.
“It’s a relief,” said Warwick Clydesdale.
The saleyard supply chain is massive – the critical second tier production of the food chain, according to Brett Peel.
“If it had been stopped, the hit would have been massive” impacting all the links in the supply chain, from transport carriers to famers to the meat buyers.
Brett says that they’ve made major adjustments at the Scone saleyards to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Electronic gates have been installed, there are restrictions on who and how many people can attend and a strict register for all visitors has been implemented.
Sanitisers and gloves are also mandatory for all trick drivers.
Warwick says the Council has been very pro-active supplying gloves and hand sanitisers, and there were no issues with supply.
While cattle numbers have been up and down, Warwick is seeing an increase.
“We had a yarding of 760 this week, the largest for the year,” said Warwick Clydesdale.
“There’s been a bit of panic selling” given the uncertainty but there has also been a number of restocker sales.
Online selling, introduced in January in partnership with Stocklive auction system is also going well, says Brett with famers and producers now accessing a range of stock online, from feeder steers to weaners.