The Casino All Breeds Bull and Female Sale usually attracts more than 500 people, but COVID-19 restrictions at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) resulted in reduced numbers for its 22nd year.
NRLX operations manager Brad Willis said 350 people had signed COVID declarations, had their temperatures checked to gain entry, and although not mandatory face masks and hand gloves were supplied.
Two security guards were on site to assist in crowd management with social distancing of 1.5 metres expected from bidders and breeders.
“On the declaration form they all take responsibility that they’re to maintain their own social distancing and that’s their own personal responsibility,” he said.
“It’s been a long day, you definitely try and encourage people as much as possible, getting around to them all and trying to push the point it can be a battle.”
Only registered buyers with a wrist band were allowed entry to bidding lanes and vendors, a maximum of two people per stud, were allowed entry but restricted to cattle laneways.
Lusty Angus bull tops sale
Bruce Lyle from Ellangowan sold 18 bulls, at an average of $7,000, with Prime Time Lusty P48 topping the sale at $10,500.
“He’s just clicked over two years of age, and has been a lovely calf since he was born, just an easy-going, solid fellow, never been a minute’s problem, and a good Angus type, easy to fatten and plenty of flesh in him,” he said.
Lusty was purchased by Yulgilbar Station at Baryulgil to use in its Sangus program.
Charolais breeder forced to watch online
The sale, which saw 100 bulls sell to an average of $6,220, was streamed online for the first time via StockLive with 70 bidders registered.
With husband and son inside the complex, Helen Trustum from Bentley had to watch her eight two-year-old bulls sell online from an outside building.
“We’ve had an exceptionally good day, our top bull came in at $10,000, so we’re very, very happy,” she said.
“But on the whole with the numbers that are here, hundreds of people here, they’ve done exceptionally well with all the COVID restrictions.”