Saleyards ‘not under threat’ despite RSPCA comments

Gracemere manager Phillip Wieland says every saleyard he has been to makes animal welfare a top priority.
Gracemere manager Phillip Wieland says every saleyard he has been to makes animal welfare a top priority. Allan Reinikka

CQLX Gracemere manager Phillip Wieland is confident that Queensland's saleyards are under no threat, despite the RSPCA's comments in regards to animal welfare at the weekend.

RSPCA president Lynne Bradshaw quickly issued a statement following the controversy, clarifying that they were not seeking closure of saleyards, although they encouraged the direct consignment of livestock due to stress caused by transport and handling.

Background below

Mr Wieland said the RSPCA have done good work with saleyards to improve standards, and ultimately all involved have animal welfare in mind.

"I feel that in every saleyard I've been to animal welfare is a top priority," Mr Wieland said.

"No one wants to be cruel to an animal... everything we do here is trying to be in line - we work with all those sorts of groups and we're always updating and training."

There are plenty of plans for CQLX in the future, all which have animal welfare in mind, Mr Wieland said.

"We're going through a complete rebuild out here and everything we do is from an animal welfare perspective," he said.

"The main area has been built to allow decent handling of cattle... (and) larger holding pens so cattle will be staying for a longer time."

Mr Wieland said they take part in an RSPCA initiative called "fit to load" that ensures animals are healthy enough to be at the yards.

"If you get something that comes in with a broken leg obviously it's destroyed, but if they're too hungry and you feel they shouldn't stand in the yards then you'd send them back... most of the people at the saleyards know cattle and can tell if they're not healthy."

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh also made clear his support for saleyards in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday.

"I am pleased to confirm that the RSPCA have written to me advising that they will not seek the closure of saleyards," Mr McVeigh said.


Background to this story:

The animal welfare organisation caused a stir last December when it released welfare guidelines for the beef industry which recommended livestock should be sold directly rather than through saleyards.

The RSPCA's scientific officer for farm animals, Melina Tensen, said at the time that her organisation hoped that eventually, saleyards wouldn't be necessary, and that animals would be consigned directly from the farm to their final destination instead.

After that stance was again highlighted in national newspapers at the weekend, NSW Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan yesterday sought assurances from the RSPCA's national president and chief executive that they were not seeking to ban saleyards.

Topics:  animal welfare cqlx gracemere rspca saleyards

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.