A pig’s tale

It was the end of an era at Dublin saleyards on Tuesday, with the last pig auction taking place.

The withdrawal of a major supplier has ultimately led to the demise of the pig market there, however House of Lindner auctioneer, Rene Martucci, said it had been on the cards for some time, and with around a 20 cent drop in price a couple of weeks ago, the ‘writing was on the wall.’

“It had been talked about for a long time, and numbers just weren’t attracting as many buyers as they would have liked, “ he said.

“Rene said he would like to have seen a longer transition period leading up to the final market day.

“We needed another couple of months really, and if the price hadn’t dropped that 20 cents, the sales possibly could have continued until mid year.”

The rising price of feed grain has made it difficult for producers, who are finding it hard to even make production costs.

However Rene doesn’t believe the closure will affect the overall pig market, the current economic climate is making things difficult for producers.

“With 25,000 pigs slaughtered in South Australia per week, a few hundred less at the Dublin market won’t really make a huge difference,” he explained.

The market had been attracting around 400 each week, whereas 12-18 months ago, there was around 600-700.

The first market, held in 1913, attracted about 450 pigs, and interestingly, Tuesday’s final sale wasn’t a lot more, with about 540 yarded.

Pig industry stalwart, Peter Brechin, who reported on weekly pig markets on the ABC’s Country Hour for 48 years, said the sale shed was built to hold 3500 pigs, but it’s never had that size yarding.

“It reflects the nature of the industry,” he said.

Freeling’s Jeff Schuster, a pig producer for almost 50 years, said it was a sad day.

“It’s the end of an era,” he said.

“We’ve lost our local livestock market.”

The Dublin closure will mean the monthly Truro sale is the only pig auction left in SA.

 

• Pictured: Pig industry stalwart, Peter Brechin, centre, with buyers John McKay and son John McKay Jnr at the last pig auction at Dublin on Tuesday.