NORTHERN Victoria and NSW livestock sales are continuing under strict new guidelines related to the coronavirus crisis.
Barnawartha saleyards introduced attendance restrictions on Wednesday, bringing it into line with Wangaratta and Corowa saleyards.
AAM Investment Group managing director Garry Edwards said the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic - at its eight selling sites including Barnawartha - aimed to protect visitors to the saleyards.
"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."
Wodonga livestock agent Michael Unthank said Thursday's sale at Barnawartha ran smoothly.
"The buyers conducted themselves well as did everyone and we got some respectable prices," he said.
"The vendors were quite happy when we rang them with the prices."
Mr Unthank said no livestock sales had been cancelled at this stage.
"We just have to take it day by day," Mr Unthank said.
"We've all got to follow the instructions the experts are giving us; it's new ground for everybody."
Mr Edwards said other changes included recording the details of all people who attended each sale and actively monitoring attendance and buying activity.
He said electronic sign-in systems were being fast-tracked to let site users and staff to 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
"We're adhering to the latest government advice and that means those who must be on site also implementing the highest standards of personal hygiene, including washing hands thoroughly and avoiding unnecessary interpersonal contact, and that anyone who is showing symptoms of illness stays at home and accesses livestock sales through alternative means."
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Mr Edwards said now was the time to embrace the technology available to adhere to social distancing requirements while ensuring the continued flow of livestock 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.
"The StockLive system of live-streaming and online bidding is being made available across all sales, at all sites, to provide an effective and efficient remote participation alternative to physically attending sale events.
"Everyone needs to take these measures seriously and take responsibility for their actions."
The StockLive system has been used by RLX in the past two years and has proven to be a simple and effective platform for both vendors and buyers.
First-time uses of the system should visit rlx.com.au for full sale listings and links to live sales right across the country.
Viewing areas for buyers showing a live feed of the sale on digital screens have also been established at sites to facilitate maximised social distancing.
"This illness is one that brings many challenges, including the provision of a reliable source of safe and nutritious food, and 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 market place," Mr Edwards said.
"AAM will continue to monitor the most current state and federal government advice on the situation and provide communications regarding any further advice that may require additional changes to onsite procedures."