Call to keep shearing workforce safe from COVID

shearing--5

The protocols include advice on 1.5m spacing inside the shearing shed.

Livestock SA is calling on all South Australian sheep producers to keep their shearing workforce safe from COVID-19.

As we roll into the main shearing season for much of the state, Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis said all members of the shearing team including growers, shearers, shed hands and visitors to sheds had a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While agriculture is deemed an essential service, from 24 September 2021 all essential travellers aged 18 and above arriving into South Australia from the ACT, NSW and Victoria must produce evidence of having received at least 1 dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to be permitted to enter the state.

“These are difficult times but we will get through them if everyone does the right thing,” Mr Curtis said.

“While the majority of the shearing workforce is SA-based, there are many workers who come to South Australia seasonally from both interstate and from New Zealand, so there are some extra risks that need to be managed.

“But we know that if everybody does their bit, follows well-established COVID-19 management guidelines and ensures workers are vaccinated, then we give the industry the best chance to remain COVID-19 free.”

Glenn Haynes, a member of the South Australian Wool Training Advisory Group (WoolTAG) committee and the Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia (SCAA), echoed Mr Curtis’s sentiments.

“We’ve been following the guidelines set out by WoolProducers Australia more than a year ago and have been asking others to do so as well,” he said.

“To date we’ve had no serious issues, which is very encouraging … we just need everyone to keep doing the right thing.”

The WoolProducers Shearing Operations: Protocols in response to COVID-19guide for growers and contractors on best practice COVID-19 measures for shearing sheds is available here: www.woolproducers.com.au/covid.

The protocols include advice on:

– 1.5m spacing inside the shearing shed
– Getting a COVID test and isolating when experiencing symptoms
– Gettting vaccinated, if eligible to do so.
– Implementing QR codes, or written records, and ensure staff check in.

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