Welfare integral to Katanning saleyard design

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Katanning’s new sheep saleyards will set a high standard for animal welfare with the addition of water in selling pens.

Shire of Katanning chief executive Dean Taylor said it would be the only saleyards in Australia where sheep could drink while in selling pens.

He said the water outlets were one of many innovations earmarked for the $21.6 million facility, which is being predominantly funded by a $17 million State Government Budget allocation.

The Shire of Katanning is hoping to secure a grant for $7.2 million from the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia fund to cover its costs, plus an extra $3 million to increase capacity at the yards to 1.2 million sheep per year.

Another feature designed for the new Katanning saleyards is half pens at the end of each selling row for smaller mobs. This will provide an extra 180 pens across the facility.

Progress at the saleyards site is well underway and construction of the fabrication workshop was expected to start this week.

Earth works can begin when the Department of Environment and Conservation approves the works order for the 18-month project.

Construction of the saleyards was expected to start in August.

WA Premier Colin Barnett and Agriculture Minister Terry Redman will inspect the Katanning site on July 4 and are expected to turn the first sod of ground.

Last week tests were undertaken on a range of latches and catchers to find the right fit for the pens.

Mr Taylor said the most popular latch inspected was an inverted T latch that could be a quick latch or a double lock if required.

The new Katanning saleyards will include 896 selling pens under 40,000 square metres of roof, surrounded by a 50,000sqm bitumen concourse.

Every millimetre of runoff from the site will be collected and the annual catch is expected to be about 90,000 litres of water.

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