Keith off-shears sale moves online for 2020

Keith off-shears sale moves online for 2020

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NEW FORMAT: KMBA members Liam McInerney, Michael Allen and Haydn Lines in the Keith saleyards which will remain empty for 2020 with the offshears sale going online.

NEW FORMAT: KMBA members Liam McInerney, Michael Allen and Haydn Lines in the Keith saleyards which will remain empty for 2020 with the offshears sale going online.

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The Keith Merino Breeders Association's annual off-shears sale is breaking with tradition. It will hold its sale online through AuctionsPlus due to uncertainty with COVID-19 restrictions.

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The Keith Merino Breeders Association's annual off-shears sale which has been a feature on the SA off-shears calendar for more than 50 years is breaking with tradition.

KMBA chairman Haydn Lines says with the uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions changing "from week to week" they have made the decision to move online for the October 16 sale.

RELATED: Keith offshears sale cracks $332 high for Merino ewes

He says vendors will be required to meet the same animal health standards as previous physical sales and will also be working hard to provide comprehensive information and videos of their ewes for AuctionsPlus.

Potential buyers will also be able to inspect ewes on-farm by contacting vendors.

Fellow vendor Michael Allen, Warrawee Park, says in previous years the sale has drawn a big crowd and buyers have been shoulder to shoulder on the rail so they could not see any way to implement the necessary social distancing.

"We are only 50 kilometres from the (SA-Vic) border here and we don't want to be the ones to put at risk all the good work," he said.

"We usually get Vic and NSW buyers and there is no guarantee that they could come across- hopefully this is a once off."

The KMBA are hopeful the sale numbers will be similar to last year's 14,000 head offered and buyers will bid with confidence with the new format.

"Business as usual was not an option and during COVID 19 people have embraced online marketing," fellow vendor Liam McInerney said.

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