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Livestock transporters flat out because of big dry

Caitlyn Gribbin, Monday April 22, 2013 - 11:10 EST

One of Australia's largest livestock transporters says it's operating at full capacity because of the prolonged dry weather.

Road Trains of Australia is employing subcontractors to help fill the huge demand for trucking cattle out of the north, where no feed is left.

Livestock transporters in southern Australia say they're also extremely busy moving livestock to saleyards, feedlots and meatworks.

RTA's John Rogers says there's a waiting list for farmers wanting to transport stock.

"I don't think words can describe how busy we are at the moment, but I know we're certainly run off our feet," he said.

"I've got days in my diary now starting to fill in right through until June.

"Everyone's aware of the shortage of trucks; if you ring up today and think you're going to get a truck tomorrow, you just can't get a truck anywhere."

Roadhouse operators like Gary Birkett, from Mitchell in southern inland Queensland, are also enjoying a boost in business.

"I'd say it'd have to be five times the normal amount; there are a lot here for meals," he said.

"There was one contractor who said he was going up to contract muster near the Northern Territory border, they were going from 16,000 to 6,000 head.

"If you were to take that kind of average across the board, there's a lot of cattle."


© ABC 2013

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