Mart Managers of Ireland has introduced new measures which will take immediate effect from Wednesday (March 18th), as concerns over Covid-19, continue to grow, writes Catherina Cunnane.
In a statement to this publication, a spokesperson said: “Our marts have been using some of these measures over the past number of sales and collectively, we have put forward these guidelines, which we will all be adhering to over the coming weeks, in order to continue trading while also complying with government guidelines and maintaining health and safety standards for both farmers and staff.”
- Everyone entering the mart must sign in, so the mart has a log of all people on-premises;
- Buyer’s entry only permitted – No other members of the public will be permitted to yard or ring;
- Animals – cattle and sheep are unloaded by members of staff. Sellers must remain in vehicles and give cards, dispatch dockets and contact information to a member of staff when unloading;
- Sellers can either be phoned prior to the sale of their stock and be permitted entry only then or can leave a reserve price for stock with mart, or conditional sale. “This will be agreed between the seller and mart.”
- Sanitising will be increased and adhered to by all mart staff and persons entering mart. Gloves and sanitizer will be available on arrival.
- Buyers must keep a safe distance from staff in office area;
- No purchaser should attend mart if they are feeling unwell in any way;
- Children are strictly forbidden;
- Buyers must be kept at least two metres apart in the sales ring. “A member of staff will make sure that this happens. We ask that customers will show understanding in this regard.”
- Canteens will remain closed for the next two weeks;
- As with entry, all livestock will be loaded by members of staff.
‘Safest possible way for everyone’
“We hope that farmers and members of the public will understand the need for these changes and will work with marts, in order for us to carry out sales in the safest possible way for everyone.”
Farmers are asked to contact their local marts with any queries that they may have.
“We also look forward to a time when all marts can return to normal business practices which allowed for a more farmer-friendly social setting.”
“We feel that if we all work together the quicker that time will come. Keep safe everyone.” the statement concluded.