Barely three years after its completion, the Northern Victorian Livestock Exchange saleyard complex at Barnawartha has been deemed a development “disgrace”.
Wodonga livestock carrier Dominic Shanahan said several saleyard users were disappointed in the North East complex, with drainage problems regarded as a occupational health and safety concern.
“The mud, the slop and the ammonia agents, truckers, and most of all the animals, have had to endure is almost criminal” he said..
“When it rained this week, conditions in the holding pens, the delivery yards and the feed yards, have become unacceptable”.
“Even after the driest September on record, the conditions this week before the rain – both outside and under the roof – made access to some pens quite dangerous” he said.
“And then after the rain, and with back-to-back large sales this past week, conditions have further deteriorated”.
Mr Shanahan, who carts slaughter cattle for a number of the largest processors, said the conditions in the feedyards had been unacceptable for a some time.
“Our complaints appear to be falling on deaf ears and the number of cattle that is now beginning to bypass these yards because of the poor state of the floor would astound you” he said.
NVLX Barnawartha manager Tim Keys confirmed the site’s maintenance program had fallen behind schedule.
“We have worked flat-out over the weekend to renew the surface of the western-end delivery yards,” he said.
“It’s been a difficult task to undertake due to a string of large yardings over recent months that has doubled throughput compared to the same period last year.
“There are truckloads of gravel waiting for placement in the southern outside yard and these were the ones affected after the rain during the week.”