Livestock sales given green light

Livestock sales given green light with CovidSafe plan

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On farm livestock sales and saleyard auctions with a CovidSafe plan have been given the green light to go ahead under the NSW government's agriculture exemption.

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On farm livestock sales and saleyard auctions with a CovidSafe plan have been given the green light to go ahead under the NSW government's agriculture exemption.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall applied for an exemption for agriculture last week to allow livestock sales to continue.

But industry wants to send a message to those who are holding the sales and buyers attending that they needed to adhere to NSW Health guidelines with a CovidSafe plan.

"It's very clear, with a CovidSafe plan livestock sales can proceed," Wool Producers Australia president Ed Storey said.

"What behoves all that are conducting such sales and this applies to shearing sheds and all agriculture pursuits, that we currently have an exemption to allow those things to continue.

"It was one of the key priorities 18 months ago when this started that both state and fed government agreed that animal welfare was something not to be compromised.

"So in many situations, timely sales, shearing and lamb marking are all vitally important for the welfare of animals ... so fundamentally that's why there has been an exemptions granted to these practices.

"It is behove on all businesses responsible for having their sales continue with exemptions that they take this seriously.

"I want to make sure that message to industry participants from those conducting the sales and people attending sales need to take their CovidSafe responsibilities very seriously.

"Wear masks, check-in, social distance, use hand sanitiser - these are things people are well familiar with."

Mr Storey said only those that needed to attend the sale should go.

He added there was online bidding in most cases or get an agent to bid if people did not want to physically attend.

If buyers were travelling between local government areas to attend sales, Mr Storey said they should prepare and have the appropriate paperwork with them from the catalogue of the sale and sale date or correspondence with the vendor.

"It would be handy to have proof indicating where you are going to the sale, which sale and what timeframe you expect to be there," he said.

"You need to have an understanding of the CovidSafe plan in place when you go there for those who enforce the lockdown."

Peter Baldwin from Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association echoed Mr Storey's sentiments saying on farm sales and livestock sales could go ahead under a stringent CovidSafe management plan.

Mr Baldwin said measures would be put in place to make sure people who attended sales were legitimate buyers willing to purchase as well as online bidding.

He said it was likely that sales would keep participant numbers to a single buyer, have timed inspections and QR code entry at the point of inspection and lead-up to the sale.

"There will be very robust CovidSafe procedures including mask wearing in place with a pure and simple message highlighting the importance of health," he said.

From August 21, Mr Baldwin said anyone leaving metropolitan area that were deemed essential by the government would need to have a permit to travel to regional NSW.

"Any travel out of your local government area will also be under essential worker provisions," Mr Baldwin said.

"People will need to have paperwork to verify the reason for travel, we suggest to agents that they travel with a logbook and time sheet.

"We expect most buyers will be registered, so carry evidence of registration, sale catalogue and any correspondence between selling agent and party.

"We are not the police, but NSW police will be enforcing the law and people should be well-equipped to prove they are bona fide to travel.

"Each agent will scrutinise any buyer and they will need to pre-register them.

"We need to take a step back that we are travelling in a pandemic and we are fortunate that sales can go ahead and we should honour the privilege of being essential workers.

"In wishing our vendors every success in their sales, we have to run these under a CovidSafe plan."

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