The VFF is concerned for the wider Victorian livestock industry following the City of Greater Geelong Council’s decision to close the local saleyards at the end of August.
VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the council’s plan would create a biosecurity risk and jeopardise the Victorian Government’s $17million investment in an electronic traceability system for sheep and goats.
‘‘Without a facility servicing the Geelong surrounds we could see a grey market develop that can’t be monitored by a government department that is under-resourced,’’ Mr Vallance said.
‘‘We could also see issues on the highways as these producers struggle to get their small lots to market.
‘‘Geelong Saleyards is the outlet for small landholders who don’t have the capacity to transport livestock to industry standards and any move by the council to shut it down without a viable solution could lead to disaster.
‘‘Does the council really want to be responsible for that outcome?’’
Mr Vallance said the saleyard closure exposed a disappointing council attitude towards the region’s agricultural industries.