A total of 200,000 cattle are expected to pass through the gates of Western Victoria Livestock Exchange (WVLX) this year, which is regarded as one of the world’s largest livestock marts.
Australia’s third largest livestock mart based in Connewarren Lane, Mortlake VICTORIA, Australia, WVLX, a privately-owned operation cost in the region of €12 million ($15 million dollars) to construct.
With approximately 2.8 hectares under roof, the mart can accommodate for up to 4,500 cattle on a weekly basis, as explained by Tim Nowell, WVLX Facility Manager to Catherina Cunnane of That’s Farming.
Already, 10,000 head of cattle went under the hammer in the first few weeks, with 416 selling pens with an additional 100 bull selling pens. Prime cattle sales are staged every Monday at 9am, with store sales held once a month on the second Thursday of the month at 10am.
“Construction commenced in May 2017 and was 95% complete in time for the first sale on January 22nd 2018. There were up to 100-crew involved in the construction of the facility, including many local tradespeople.” Tim Nowell explained.
“This is the second facility built by the same board of directors (7 in total), with the other facility (South Eastern Livestock Exchange - SELX) handling sheep and cattle sales in Yass, NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia. WVLX currently handles cattle sales only.” Tim added.
Facilities & Employment
Mr. Nowell explained that the state-of-the-art facilities have been constructed with animal health and welfare at the forefront to minimise “human and animal interaction” to make it safer and less stressful for both patrons and cattle.
“The soft flooring, undercover ventilated roof, curved race drafts and horse-led stock movements have all been designed to be low stress and low bruising for the cattle. The soft-flooring and is a low stress/low bruising facility makes this operation very unique.” He added.
The running of the large-scale operation has been a key driver in creating employment, with 80% of employees from the locality.The mart has a staff base of 36 people which includes full-time and casual positions.
With a significant number of cattle passing through the gates and number of people employed, the Facility Manager of WVLX said future plans will be driven by needs within the market aswell as changes in best practice and industry requirements.
“The facility is focussed on continuous improvement and will be making minor changes to processes to increase our efficiencies.” Mr. Nowell concluded.