Bid to protect competiton after agent dodging at saleyards
WARWICK stock agents are happy to see authorities crack down on private producers that attempt to use the Warwick Saleyards to transfer livestock without paying third party fees.
The Southern Downs Regional Council decided it would only allow registered agents to use the saleyards to sell and transfer livestock.
"Occasionally a private producer will sell directly through the saleyards,” a council report states.
"The private producer will work the cattle through the yards to the scales and then out to the holding pens ready for transport.”
Warwick stock agent Kevin McMahon said he had never seen anything like it in his 49 years in business.
"It shouldn't be happening I can tell you that,” he said.
Unlike registered stock agents using the saleyards, private users can avoid hefty permits of up to $5,195.
But the council said this would leave it open to workplace health and safety issues if the private producer is injured in any way while the stock are being processed through the yards.
Agents said the improper use of the saleyards also created unfair competition, where the agents pay annual fees to allow them to sell through the yards and individuals sell without paying these fees.
"The five selling agents make their living through those sale yards and its just an agreement with the council to protect us and protect them,” said stock agent David McIvor.
"It's just one of the many agreements between the selling agents and the saleyard owners.”
Mr McIvor said there was no changes to existing rules, but the council was reinforcing the terms of the saleyard use in light of recent events.
"That policy has been in place for 25 years,” he said.
"There has been a few slipping through the net and the council are reinforcing the policy.”
Mr McMahon agreed.
"Council should know who is doing it and it should not be happening,” he said.
"The rule always was you could not do anything with cattle through those sale yards unless you're an agent.”
Private producers are still able to hold livestock in the yards and deliver livestock to the yards for collection by paying the applicable holding and transhipping fees.
A third party is then responsible for the NLIS transfer of the livestock on the database.