Australia’s livestock industry has welcomed today’s assurance from Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, that saleyards will continue to operate.
Ensuring continuity in food supply at this difficult time is of critical importance and livestock selling centres are a key component of the food supply chain.
Saleyard operators, agents, buyers, processors and producers are acutely aware of the immense challenge the COVID-19 health emergency presents. Reducing the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID19 is essential.
The industry welcomed the opportunity to discuss with Minister Littleproud, the unified position sector had reached in the management of sales and to reiterate our commitment to ensuring saleyards were as safe possible, when it comes to COVID-19.
The management decisions agreed on include:
- Limiting attendance at sales to essential saleyard site staff, accredited livestock agents and essential agency staff along with genuine buyers with a true intention to purchase.
- All other individuals, who are not essential to the sale process, should not attend the selling facility. Livestock transporters will still be able to access saleyard facilities for unloading and loading of livestock.
- The putting in place of on-ground systems and protocols to manage attendance in line with the above position.
These measures will build on the range of measures that have already been introduced in saleyards across the country in response to the COVID-19 health emergency.
Today’s decision by Minister Littleproud and the Morrison Government is a continued recognition of agriculture and the food supply chain as essential services.
Saleyard operators, agents, buyers, processors and producers thank the Government for their ongoing dialogue as the COVID-19 situation evolves, which has led to this pragmatic and common-sense decision today.
The decision allows our sector to get on with producing world’s best red meat for Australians, in what are challenging times for our nation.