Fitters call on clients not to forget them

Cattle fitters encourage producers to continue preparing for future shows

Beef
File photo.

File photo.

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For some, their only income source has taken a hit.

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Beef cattle fitters are encouraging producers to continue supporting their businesses and send their breaker and sale cattle to prepare for future events.

Many shows across the country have been postponed or canceled as a result of gathering restrictions in the wake of coronavirus, meaning those who dedicated themselves to preparing animals for these events have been left impacted.

Matthew Black of M and M Show Steers and Fitting Service just outside of Lismore was preparing about 20 head of Speckle Park cattle bound for Scone, Sydney and Toowoomba shows.

While the Scone Speckle Park Sale will continue online only, many of the other cattle are now dependent on an appearance at the Royal Queensland Show, if it continues in August.

It is understood a decision around the Queensland event will be made later in the year, potentially around June.

Next year is set to be a big season on the show circuit with Beef Australia in Rockhampton from May and a Speckle Park feature show at Sydney expected to draw large numbers.

Mr Black said while it may be costly for producers to continue preparing their cattle now there would always be events to strive for in the future.

"We are pushing that if they miss Ekka because it's called off they will be there on feed ready for Sydney 2021 and possibly for the local shows," the butcher by trade said.

"The Ekka hasn't been cancelled yet and we have still got our later shows in September to November.

"We don't know how long this is going to hang around."

For Queensland-based fitters Les and Leanne Lee of Leegra Fitting Service, Murgon, showing and preparing cattle is their main source of income.

In the past the duo have taken cattle to shows right around the country including the Sydney Royal last year.

For the time being it is business as usual on their property with the 15 head of cattle they had bound for central highlands and western Queensland shows continuing on with their preparations.

They made a heartfelt plea on Facebook last week reminding producers that in order to keep their business running they needed people to continue sending their cattle.

Mr Lee said once producers began weaning they hoped that people would continue to support their business and supply future show animals.

"We have been impacted," he said

"People have still got cattle here and people are still bringing cattle over to get broken in but it's not going to be as much as normal.

"I keep bringing them (the cattle) in and working with them every couple of days.

"Hopefully if everyone keeps sending young stuff we will be getting them ready for Beef."

Shows scheduled for later in the year have been urged to monitor the situation due to the constantly changing restrictions.

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