Saleyards upgrade to improve facilities, animal welfare

A major upgrade of the truck-wash at Cowra Regional Livestock Selling Centre is part of a continuing program of improvements at the facility.

Other recent work includes just-completed improved bathroom facilities at the regional-wide livestock selling venue, Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West said.

"This work is not just to improve facilities at the venue; but also to enhance and protect the value of livestock; and to improve animal welfare outcomes," Cr West explained.

"The recent upgrade will increase water-efficiency and improve conditions for livestock by utilising water from the truck-wash facilities recycled for irrigating holding paddocks for stock," Cr West said.

"Irrigating the holding paddocks will over-time provide fodder for sheep left in yards overnight, getting them off the concrete holding yards and onto grassed areas while they await transportation," Cr West added. "This will be better for transport operators, buyers, sellers and livestock, at the site."

High animal welfare values are not only important to Cowra Council — operator of the facility — they also improve outcomes for buyers and sellers.

"Less-stressed stock, as well as having better animal welfare outcomes, also reduces stress on those handling the animals and leads to lower stock losses and lost condition on sheep and cattle," Cr West said.

Improvements at the facility have also increased commercial competitiveness with other central west saleyards, Cr West said. With growing competition from bigger facilities in the area, remaining viable is vital for the future of the yards in Cowra.

Cowra Saleyards' advantage over bigger centres includes offering lower selling fees and shorter curfews with the paddock-to-plate philosophy allowing stock to be in the paddock the morning of the sale, then sold through the yards and onto the buyers in a shorter period.

"Cents-per-kilo is only one guide to value; money-in-the-pocket after the sale should be the main concern to sellers with substantially-lower on-costs for transport, time off feed and water, and improved animal welfare areas in which Cowra more-than-competes against other saleyards," Cr West concluded.

For more information on Cowra Saleyards, contact Manager — Cowra Services Chris Cannard on 6340 2088.