DUBBO cattle and sheep sales have been cancelled for the next fortnight after two more people who were at the site tested positive to COVID-19.
The prime cattle sale rescheduled for tomorrow, September 4, will go ahead but with strict restrictions in place.
This means the scheduled sheep sale for Monday, September 6 and 13, and the prime cattle sale on Thursday, September 9 and 16 will not proceed.
Dubbo Regional Council said the move came after consultation between Dubbo Stock and Station Agents (DSSA), key industry stakeholders and NSW Health "in order to prioritise public health and safety, and to ensure the livestock industry remains viable as an essential operation".
"In the best interest of animal welfare, this week's rescheduled prime cattle sale set for a new time of 9am on Saturday, September 4 will still proceed; however, there will be very strict conditions placed on people who are attending this sale," the Dubbo Regional Council statement said.
There will be limited access, limited staffing and rapid onsite COVID-19 testing upon entry to the site on Saturday.
The Council said these measures were being undertaken in the best interest of the broader livestock industry, the safety of anybody who attends the Dubbo saleyards and the broader community.
"On the advice of NSW Health and the need for industry certainty, this decision has been made after a further two people who had been at the facility in the past week tested positive for COVID-19," the Council said.
The Council is working closely with NSW Health to identify close and casual contacts.
As a precaution, anybody who attended the cattle sale on Thursday, August 26 or sheep sale on Monday, August 30 should isolate and get tested.
The saleyards has already undergone a deep clean.
"We know this is a part of running an essential business during a pandemic, and Dubbo Regional Council wants to assure the agricultural industry that our operations are COVIDSafe and there are strict conditions of entry for anyone attending sales," the Council statement said.
Restrictions in place for Saturday's prime cattle sale include:
- Only pre-approved saleyards staff, agents, DSSA staff, genuine registered commission/company buyers and carriers are permitted on site. Pre-approval attendance to this sale is centrally coordinated by DSSA Secretary
- There will be a requirement to undertake on-site rapid testing before the sale. Instructions will be provided this afternoon to pre-approved attendees
- Mandatory check-in and fitted face masks are also a condition of entry, in line with NSW Health's Public Health Order
- There will be no cafe in operation
- Strict distancing of buyers, agents and operational staff will be enforced
Following the announcement of the first positive COVID-19 case at Dubbo saleyards, other saleyards in NSW implemented additional restrictions.
Facilities run by Regional Livestock Exchanges advised that anybody who had been to Dubbo saleyards on or following Thursday, August 26 must have returned a negative COVID-19 test result before working in a RLX site.
Love agricultural news? Sign up for The Land's free daily newsletter.