MLA office doors still open despite coronvirus spread

MLA keeps its offices open for now but ready to work from home

Coronavirus
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Meat & Livestock Australia's officers remain open - for now - as coronavirus continues to spread.

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Meat & Livestock Australia's offices are still open although the company says it has taken steps to protect staff and clients from coronavirus.

MLA has suspended all international and domestic air travel until further notice.

Employees, contractors and visitors who have travelled internationally or come into direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must isolate themselves for 14 days.

MLA offices are being thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, including work stations while antibacterial surface wipes are available for employees to wipe down laptops, keyboards and other equipment on a regular basis.

The peak red meat marketing and research company will not be conducting any large events (more than 100 people) until further notice.

MLA said if operations shifted to a full work-from-home mode in the future it expected minimal interruption to business-as-usual.

Meanwhile, saleyards are continuing to operate around the country as butchers and supermarkets battle to refill meat cabinets because of panic buying.

Fears are also growing that producers might start panic selling as coronavirus continues to rip the global economy apart.

Yarding numbers swelled to 43,800 at last Thursday's Wagga Wagga sale including 35,800 lambs with agents reporting some growers were keen to offload stock in the face of growing economic anxiety over Covid-19.

The Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association has urged its members to assure the welfare of all participants at livestock sales.

It has recommended all non-essential people to keep away from livestock auctions.

It has also recommended all visitors be required to sign a declaration prior to entering the saleyards entering their name, address and phone number to provide traceability of attendees.

The Australian Livestock Markets Association said given current government information, livestock sales should continue but all non-essential people should stay away and recommended coronavirus hygiene practices be strictly followed.

All Elders branches are still open with customers to stores offered hand sanitiser.

Territory sales managers, agronomists and livestock advisors are still working in the field.

The company has asked customers not to enter their stores if they have returned from overseas in the past two weeks, come into contact with persons infected with COVID-19 or have symptoms that include dry cough, temperature or difficulties breathing.

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