Beef producers across the Alpine Valleys are angry they were not consulted about recently introduced sale and curfew time changes for store cattle sales at Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange.
The start time for month store cattle sales was this month brought forward from 10.30am to 9am while the yarding curfew was moved form 9pm to 6pm.
The switch came after discussions between agents and the yard operators.
NXLV manager James Thompson said the earlier times were trialed in January and were well received.
“It came about from the agents really, we did it for two sales in January and it worked well,” Mr Thompson said.
“It gets the cattle out of there earlier, and it adds to some efficiencies the night before.
“I’m happy either way but I’m in support of getting the cattle out and on the road earlier.”
The earlier curfew allowed cattle to be unloaded and settled before NVLX staff begin their scanning and weighing, he said.
Victorian Farmers Federation’s Tallangatta branch will host a meeting on Wednesday, June 21, at the Tallangatta Hotel from 8pm to hear producers concerns.
“People are concerned about it so the best way to handle it is to have a meeting and then maybe we can get a deputation to the stock agents association and point out our concerns,” Tallangatta branch president Stuart Morant said.
Mr Morant said he had been contacted by quite a few people about the changes.
He said it would add to stress to stock, which would need to he yarded and loaded earlier to get to the market, and also raised heat concerns during summer under the new times.
“We’re concerned there’s been no consultation with the farming community about changing the times,” Mr Morant said.
“The curfew for our cattle starts when we have to take them off feed and water,” Mr Morant said.
“For many it will be first thing in the morning to get cattle there on time.
“The main January sales, when those very large numbers of store cattle are penned, we’ve got daylight savings time so six o’clock is five o’clock in real terms, and can be the hottest part of the afternoon.
“Another issue then is we’ve got almost three hours of daylight left at five o’clock.
“It smells just like the post sale debacle.”
Mr Thompson said because of the modern facility, cattle would not be impacted by coming in earlier and he would be happy to talk about the changes with the VFF.
The majority of cattle sold through the yards were already in by 6pm.
In a letter to The Border Mail this week, Mike Walsh, Granite Flats Pastoral Company, said change may force producers to look at other selling options.
“Producers are being slugged 10 per cent already selling through the yards,” Mr Walsh wrote.
“Add to this the extra pressures that affect the aesthetic condition of our stock when put through saleyards.
“Producers will start to look to other markets where cattle are treated better and can be shown off to their best potential, rather than being all hollowed out, gaunt and stressed.
“Producers are the key to the success of your yards and your incomes.”