Markets

Agriculture saleyards and auctions can continue: Littleproud

Beef Central, March 27, 2020

The Minister for Agriculture and Emergency Management, David Littleproud confirmed today that livestock saleyards and wool auctions are able to continue.

“These are an essential part of the broader agriculture supply chain,” Minister Littleproud said.

“They are different to real estate auctions because of their importance to the nation.

“The Government is working tirelessly to safeguard the supply chain from the farm to the market.

“In particular, interruptions to livestock saleyards could impact adversely on the availability and price of meat.

“Like the rest of Australia, livestock saleyards and wool auctions will need to comply with strict social distancing and hygiene practices.

“This includes no more than one person per four square metres at indoor auctions and any other particular requirements of your jurisdiction.

“Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your face and if sick, stay home.

“I thank the National Auction Selling Committee and the individual saleyards that have already taken steps to implement social distancing protocols.

“And I ask those involved to please consider if their livestock saleyards and wool auctions can be held online, remotely, deferred or be cancelled to do so.

“Agriculture and food security are critical to Australia at the best of times. They are even more so during this the COVID-19 crisis.”

Industry backing steps to keep saleyards open

CATTLE Council of Australia, Sheep Producers Australia and Woolproducers Australia are backing industry-wide steps to keep saleyards open while preventing the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Saleyards were an essential part of the red meat supply chain and need to keep operating to assure the supply of high-quality meat both in Australia and overseas, the peak councils said.

Tony Hegarty

Cattle Council president Tony Hegarty said saleyard operators, agents, buyers, processors and producers had agreed to keep anyone out who did not need to be there.

“Only essential saleyard and agency staff, accredited agents and registered buyers with a true intention to purchase livestock should attend the sales in person,” Mr Hegarty said.

“The wellbeing of our people and the community is our top priority as we face the coronavirus.

“Sales are going ahead but some could be delayed while new measures are put in place. “We need to make sure our industry keeps running and we keep red meat in butcheries.”

Chris Mirams

Sheep Producers Australia Chair Chris Mirams said the new restrictions would protect workers and ensure producers continued providing high-quality meat to consumers.

“Reducing the people at saleyards will reduce health risks for agents and buyers,” Mr Mirams said.

“This means they can continue their essential role moving stock through the supply chain while maintaining the maximum level of buying competition. “Agriculture is an essential industry and all parts of the supply chain need to function so we can keep feeding our domestic and international customers.”

Woolproducers Australia President Ed Storey said anyone without a legitimate reason to be at a saleyard will not be allowed in.

“There will be new systems put in place to make sure the new rules are followed,” Mr Storey said.

“We are doing this to make sure we can still buy and sell animals and stay open for business, keeping the agricultural supply chains operating. If it is not necessary for you to be at the saleyards you shouldn’t be there. Those that are there need to practice social distancing as best they can.

“The best way to get a feel for the market right now is go online or give your agent a call.”

Agriculture saleyards and auctions can continue

The Minister for Agriculture and Emergency Management, David Littleproud confirmed today that livestock saleyards and wool auctions are able to continue.

“These are an essential part of the broader agriculture supply chain,” Minister Littleproud said.

“They are different to real estate auctions because of their importance to the nation.

“The Government is working tirelessly to safeguard the supply chain from the farm to the market.

“In particular, interruptions to livestock saleyards could impact adversely on the availability and price of meat.

“Like the rest of Australia, livestock saleyards and wool auctions will need to comply with strict social distancing and hygiene practices.

“This includes no more than one person per four square metres at indoor auctions and any other particular requirements of your jurisdiction.

“Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your face and if sick, stay home.

“I thank the National Auction Selling Committee and the individual saleyards that have already taken steps to implement social distancing protocols.

“And I ask those involved to please consider if their livestock saleyards and wool auctions can be held online, remotely, deferred or be cancelled to do so.

“Agriculture and food security are critical to Australia at the best of times. They are even more so during this the COVID-19 crisis.”

Personal protection masks available

While personal protection masks are as scarce as hens’ teeth in Australia at present, a substantial supply has been made available to Beef Central readers, at very reasonable cost.

Out of concern for the local beef industry during COVID-19, Australian/Chinese beef trade and investment facilitator Eddie Zhi has organised a good supply of medical-grade facemasks, available for bulk orders, at a cost of just $1.80 each, plus freight.

The masks come in boxes of 50 (minimum order), or 40 boxes to a carton (2000).

Contact Eddie direct –     [email protected] ph  0408 880 369

 

Source: CCA, Minister for Agriculture

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