Sheep Connect cancelled in latest COVID-19 industry blow

Sheep Connect cancelled in latest COVID-19 industry blow

Wool
Sheepvention was last held in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sheepvention was last held in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Another major sheep industry event has had to be cancelled due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak, with Sheep Connect called off due to uncertainty around Victoria's lockdown.

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Another major sheep industry event has had to be cancelled due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak, with Sheep Connect called off due to uncertainty around Victoria's lockdown.

The Sheep Connect event, due to be held in Hamilton on August 2 and 3, was a scaled down version of Hamilton's popular Sheepvention expo, dreamt up following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria earlier in the year.

It came after Sheepvention had to cancelled in 2020 due to the effect of the pandemic.

But now even that smaller event has had to be canned.

It comes just days after the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo was cancelled on the eve of the three-day event as Victoria went into lockdown.

Sheep Connect president Strathkellar farmer and vet Kathryn Robertson said it was really disappointing to have to cancel the event, with a little over a week until set up.

"We discussed the options, but with the extension of the lockdown, and uncertainty of how long it's going to go, we had to postpone it," she said.

"Given the tight timeline, uncertainty and continuing ongoing cost, we couldn't financially put ourselves in the position of going ahead.

"We were expecting thousands of people through the gate, so to go from a complete lockdown to a crowd of thousands was a very remote possibility."

The conference has been postponed, while the trade section has had to be cancelled altogether.

The ram sale will continue in a virtual format.

"It's really sad, everyone was really enthusiastic and excited for it to happen," Ms Robertson said.

'There was a huge amount of support and its a massive disappointment."

A new date for the Sheep Connect conference will be announced in coming weeks, while the digital ram sale will be held on Tuesday August 3.

All trade exhibitors will receive a full refund of trade site fees, with the Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society to email exhibitors this week.

The story Sheep Connect cancelled in latest COVID-19 industry blow first appeared on Farm Online.

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