Associated Livestock Marts has said it has encouraged its members to review their mart policy in relation to patron health and safety and to implement a range of additional measures, as concerns over Covid-19 continue to grow.
It said it has and will continue to take every step necessary to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone associated with its marts nationwide.
In a statement released to this publication, a spokesperson for Associated Livestock Marts said: “We kindly ask that only ‘trading customers’ should attend marts until further notice, i.e. only those buying or selling livestock.”
“We are very aware that the mart is very much a social outlet for farmers, but we feel it prudent to ensure numbers are kept below recommended guidelines.”
“We most respectfully ask non-trading patrons to refrain from visiting until further notice up to March 29th, 2020 when further guidance will be provided.”
The association noted that the number of people attending individual mart ringsides at any one time is being limited to 100, which is being managed on a “strict rotation system”.
A number of venues are utilising admission cards which are rotated among patrons at the entrance/exit to the mart ringside or other such monitoring methods as devised by the mart.
“Each of our member marts will be making their own decision on whether to continue to trade or not, so, please keep in contact with your local mart.”
General public health issue
“Rural Ireland prides itself on community spirit and, we, Associated Livestock Marts, have a long and established link in these communities.”
The association added that it will continue to monitor the situation and review its position as often as it is informed or requested to do so.
“This community spirit will carry us through the next number of weeks. Please look after each other, check on neighbours by phone/text etc. been especially mindful of the elderly.
“Coronavirus is a general public health issue. Relevant information is available at www.hse.ie.” the statement concluded.