The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has directed livestock marts to adjust their operations for tighter restrictions.
The implementation of Level 5 restrictive measures from midnight tonight (Wednesday, 21st October) will see marts move online.
Marts have been directed to do the following:
- Sales rings are to remain closed – marts may facilitate online sales;
- Marts must put a drop and go policy in place for sellers. This means that farmers or their representatives may deliver livestock to the mart by appointment and must then depart from the mart premises. Where feasible, farmers or their representatives should remain in their vehicle while on the mart premises, and mart staff should unload and load livestock and take passports;
- Marts must arrange that individual appointment times are allocated to individual buyers to view or collect livestock. Buyers should attend the mart on their own, without accompaniment.
In a statement, a DAFM spokesperson said: “These measures are subject to ongoing review and may be amended as required to ensure compliance with government policy on Covid-19.”
“These measures are largely similar to those put in place in April and May.”
Marts wishing to operate from midnight must submit a revised standard operating procedure (“Level 5 SOP – October”) to their Regional Veterinary Office for approval as soon as possible.
“DAFM has informed marts representative organisations of these new measures, and will write to all marts today informing them of the new measures.” the spokesperson concluded.