Cattle Auctions at CQLX, Gracemere Queensland. Photo Steve Vitt
Cattle Auctions at CQLX, Gracemere Queensland. Photo Steve Vitt

Sweeping COVID-19 changes for Australian cattle sales

REGIONAL Livestock Exchange's network of facilities, including the CQLX in Gracemere, have adopted new changes in response to COVID-19.

New changes handed down by the AAM Investment Group, which facilitates RLX, mean individuals considered not essential to on-site sale participation will not be able to attend.

AAM managing director, Garry Edwards, said the changes were in line with the latest advice of the Australian Government Department of Health and were aimed at protecting the safety of anyone who visited the eight RLX sites across eastern Australia.

"I must reiterate, we need those individuals who do not have a genuine intent to purchase or are not essential to the sale-day process to remain away from the facility," he said.

"We have effective processes for online bidding and remote sale participation in place, and we urge people to use these systems wherever possible."

Key additional changes include capturing the sign-in details of all people present at each sale and actively monitoring attendance and buying activity with those who flout the rules being required to leave.

Cattle are pushed through at the weekly gracemere sale at CQLX.
Cattle are pushed through at the weekly gracemere sale at CQLX.

The electronic sign-in systems are being fast tracked so that essential site users and staff can continue operations with minimal disruption.

"Our first priority is the health of those considered essential to the function of the sale including genuine buyers, agents, transporters and site staff, and we're proactively implementing these changes to reduce the risk of exposure whilst in attendance at our network of livestock facilities," Mr Edwards said

Mr Edwards said there had never been a better time to embrace the technology available to adhere to social distancing requirements while ensuring livestock continued to flow through the supply chain.

"The responsibility of mitigating risk sits with every member of society," he said.

"If people do not adhere to these reasonable requests, they will be asked to leave and if they don't listen, they will be barred from attending the site.

"We have technology in place to ensure saleyards remain an active marketplace and it is now critical people shift the way they receive their market information and sales reports."

StockLive system of live-streaming and online bidding is being made available across all sales, at all RLX sites, to provide an effective and efficient remote participation alternative to physically attending sale events.

The online sale option has already yielded big sales at the CQLX in recent days.

'Viewing areas' for buyers showing a live feed of the sale on digital screens have also been established at sites for maximised social distancing.

Mr Edwards said COVID-19 brought many challenges, including the provision of a reliable source of safe and nutritious food.

"As the manger and operator of large agricultural assets that are integral to both the domestic and export food supply chain, AAM is acutely aware of our role, and the role of our facilities, in maintaining a safe, active and transparent marketplace," he said.

"AAM will continue to monitor the most current State and Federal Government advice on the situation and provide communications."

Cattle Auctions at CQLX, Gracemere Queensland. Photo Steve Vitt
Cattle Auctions at CQLX, Gracemere Queensland. Photo Steve Vitt

The new changes adopted at all RLX sites include:

▪ If you do not have a genuine intent to purchase livestock, and you are not essential to the sale process, do not attend sales

▪ Those individuals considered essential are genuine buyers, agents, livestock transporters and site staff

▪ Additional measures to ensure all buyers can still participate include extension of the online platform for remote sale-day participation, StockLive, across all sites and sales

▪ Viewing areas, using large digital screens to show sale live feeds are also available to facilitate maximised social distancing for those who must be onsite

▪ AAM will continue and provide regular updates on any additional changes to operations bases on the advice of Government health authorities

▪ AAM will ensure a consistent flow of high-quality beef and lamb across the supply chain at this time when safe, nutritious food is needed.



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