DUBBO’s cattle and sheep saleyards has been forced to close for two weeks after another two people who worked at the centre in the past week tested positive for COVID.
The Dubbo Regional Council has said that on the advice of NSW Health and the need for industry certainty, Dubbo’s sheep sale scheduled for today, Monday 6 September and Monday 13 September, and the prime cattle sale on Thursday 9 September and 16 September will not proceed.
As Beef Central reported last week, a person who was working at the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets on August 26 had also tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the deep cleaning of the facility and postponement of the regular cattle sale until the following Saturday.
The council said it was working closely with NSW Health to identify close and casual contacts. The decision to cancel sales for two weeks from 6 September was made after the council, the Dubbo Stock and Station Agents (DSSA) and key industry stakeholders consulted with NSW Health.
The council said that in the best interest of animal welfare, last week’s rescheduled prime cattle sale held on Saturday; however, there were strict conditions placed on people attending the sale. These conditions included very limited access and staffing, and rapid onsite COVID testing upon entry.
The DLRM has already undergone a deep clean in line with the standards identified by public health and Safe Work NSW.
Among the restrictions in place for Saturday’s cattle sale:
- Only pre-approved DRLM Staff, DRLM agents, DSSA staff, genuine registered commission/company buyers and carriers were permitted on site. Pre-approval attendance was centrally coordinated by DSSA Secretary.
- There was a requirement to undertake on-site rapid testing prior to the sale for pre-approved attendees.
- Mandatory check-in and fitted face masks were a condition of entry, in line with NSW Health’s Public Health Order.
- Strict distancing of buyers, agents and operational staff was enforced.
“These protocols are to protect the people who attend the markets, and to ensure the long-term viability of the industry,” the statement said.