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Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, (CGRC) has been advised by the Cootamundra Associated Agents that they have decided to discontinue their fortnightly lamb and sheep sales at the Cootamundra Saleyard facility.

The letter received by CGRC states that the numbers the agents have been yarding in the last few years has been declining. The Cootamundra Associated Agents also stated the proposed Sheep and Goat Individual Electronic Identification (IED) would place undue financial pressure on agents and suppliers.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is currently transitioning to mandatory IED for sheep and goats. Council is working with the DPI to gain a grant to implement IED at the Cootamundra Saleyards. The mandatory implementation date for IED is January 2025, when all NSW saleyards will be required to have electronic identification in place.

CGRC mayor Councillor Charlie Sheahan said Council is saddened that market forces have necessitated the decision by the Cootamundra selling agents to abandon sales at the Cootamundra Saleyards. 

“This letter from the Cootamundra Associated Agents has come as a surprise, and Council will now have to consider a number of issues regarding the future of the site and the infrastructure in place. Council has invested thousands of dollars in maintaining and improving the site over many years. Council is faced with escalating costs in maintenance, compliance, and managing the expectations of agents, buyers, and sellers. Council will consider all options regarding the site moving forward,” Cr Sheahan said.

 “It is the belief of the Cootamundra Associated Agents, that due to the very low sheep numbers coming into the yards, and the upcoming introduction of sheep tagging (IED), it is no longer financially viable to utilise the yards for the sale of stock.  Cattle have not been sold at the yards for some time now,” Cr Sheahan added.

 Cootamundra Saleyards are not the first to fall victim to rising costs, low stock numbers and compliance, some very large enterprises in Victoria and South Australia have recently closed, whilst saleyards in surrounding towns closed many years ago. 

 Picture and caption:

 Cootamundra Saleyards held its last sheep and lamb sale on Wednesday after Cootamundra Associated Agents decided to discontinue the fortnightly sales held at the site.