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Baptism for Brian

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
The Muchea Livestock Centre’s new boss Barney Langford with WA Meat Industry Authority chief executive Andrew Williams.
Camera IconThe Muchea Livestock Centre’s new boss Barney Langford with WA Meat Industry Authority chief executive Andrew Williams. Credit: Rueben Hale

Pastoral cattle numbers have surged at the Muchea Saleyards this week, as the new boss takes charge.

Monday’s cattle sale saw numbers reach more than 1900 head of mostly pastoral cattle, as former Kimberley pastoralist Brian “Barney” Langford spent his first day as the centre’s new livestock manager.

Northern cattle have been on the move in recent weeks as pastoralists in Kimberley, Pilbara and Midwest turned off livestock.

As a result Muchea Livestock Centre cattle yardings have been rapidly increasing week on week since mid-April and are expected to continue to increase over the next couple of months.

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Sheep numbers have also been high, with last week’s yarding hitting a massive 26,000 head.

Mr Langford said he was right behind the WA Meat Industry Authority’s move to prevent buyers or their transporters picking up cattle directly from the sale pens.

The controversial move was sparked by a number of recent claims made against WAMIA for injuries sustained by third parties at the centre and is expected to increase cattle handling fees by at least $1.20 a head.

“This decision is fantastic and I am really looking forward to it starting on July 1 because we just don’t want to see any more people getting injured at the saleyards,” Mr Langford said.

“There are plans to create at least 14 new sales day jobs for fully trained staff to bring the cattle out to the pick up pens, which will alleviate the issue and that has to be a definite positive for everybody.”

WAMIA chief executive Andrew Williams said he was excited to have Mr Langford in the new role.

“Safety and efficiency is a focus for WAMIA in relation to the operation of the MLC,” he said.

“Mr Langford is highly committed to working towards implementing the changes and working with the staff here to make sure that happens.”

Mr Williams said the MLC would work towards a co-ordinated approach. “Previously we may have had a more fragmented approach to the operation of the saleyards,” he said.

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