Knackery operators have closed their gates to farmers as their dispute with the Department of Agriculture intensifies. Farmers have been caught in the crossfire, with animals going uncollected and charges rising.

The Department announced an amended Fallen Animal Scheme, which imposed maximum collection fees that knackeries can charge farmers. The revised scheme was rejected by the Animal Collectors Association (ACA), which said a proper support package was needed. A lack of competition in the rendering sector, combined with a collapse in hide prices, has put pressure on the trade. This is making it financially unviable, knackeries say.