Saleyards open for business, under strict rules

Saleyards open for business, under strict rules

News
ON THE SCREEN: Greg Shaw, Langdons Hill, stopped by to see the live stream of the auction at Ballarat where he sold a pen of steers for 400c/kg, up 122c/kg on his 2019 draft.

ON THE SCREEN: Greg Shaw, Langdons Hill, stopped by to see the live stream of the auction at Ballarat where he sold a pen of steers for 400c/kg, up 122c/kg on his 2019 draft.

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New rules designed to ban all non essential people from saleyards are designed to ensure saleyards can remain open as an essential part of the food production chain.

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Saleyards are open for business, but operators warn that unless you are going to buy, stay away.

The warning comes as saleyards are confirmed as an essential part of the food production chain.

After stacking the walkways since the new year at store sales in particular, vendors are now being told there are other ways to follow the sale without attending the saleyards.

Saleyards across the state have introduced new attendance limits and requirements in effort to contain the spread of the virus.

At the recent store steer sale at the Central Victorian Livestock Exchange at Ballarat, the saleyards operators required visitors to sign in before entering the complex.

AAM Investment Group (AAM), managers and operators of the Regional Livestock Exchange (RLX) facilities, including Ballarat, managing director Garry Edwards, said saleyards would continue to operate.

"We need to keep the flow of livestock moving. All our economies and communities rely on this," he said.

Mr Edwards said the whole supply chain needed to continue.

"We are clearly telling people before sales and on social media, that if people haven't got a genuine intent to purchase, they should not be attending the sale," he said.

"If they wish to be a spectator there are ways to be informed."

The RXL facilities had installed viewing areas so that buyers looking for specific categories of livestock could come and go from the buyers gallery to minimise contact.

It was time technology became "our friend" in the way people received their information.

"People need to take these measure seriously and take responsibility for their actions," Mr Edwards said.

Ballarat's vendors were able to take advantage of live stream at the yards.

Mr Edwards said the RLX centres would capture the sign-in details that would be actively monitored and those that repeatedly flout the rules could be excluded.

He said electronic sign-in was being fast tracked to make it easy for all involved.

At Bendigo prime lamb and sheep sale the new rules banning vendors and non-essential people from the yards worked flawlessly.

Elders livestock manager Nigel Starick, Bendigo, said it made moving about the yards much easier.

He said vendors understood the new rules and abided by the rules to not enter the yards.

People knew that if the rules weren't followed that the yards could be shut down, he said.

It was a similar story at Corowa were the crowd was lower, but all regular buyers were in attendance.

At the Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange saleyards manager Paul Christopher said the yards were closed to the general public and vendors.

He said a couple of people had been asked to leave.

Keeping the saleyards open was the best for the farmers and that was the aim, he said.

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