Farmers are being advised not to ‘panic sell’ livestock, as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, continue to grow.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Cork Marts said: “We have seen a lot of panic buying in shops recently. We are advising our livestock farmers NOT TO PANIC SELL your livestock.”
“At times such as this, the one thing people want, and need is food. Irish farmers produce the best raw materials for that food for consumers, not just here in Ireland but across the world.”
“No government anywhere is going to ban the importation of food to feed their people. Cattle will be needed and will be moved and sold. So, DON’T PANIC SELL. Stay safe.” the statement concluded.
Livestock marts across the country are implementing a range of measures, on the back of government guidelines.
The number of people attending individual mart ringsides at any one time will be limited to 100, which will be managed on a strict rotation system, according to ICOS.
It is asking only ‘trading customers’, those purchasing or selling livestock, to attend marts until further notice.Non-trading patrons are being asked to refrain from visiting until further notice up to March 29th, 2020, when “further guidance will be provided.”
Several marts have taken to social media to inform the public about the changes.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Ballinasloe Co-operative Livestock Mart said: “With regard to sales in Ballinasloe Mart and concerns about people’s safety in relation to the Coronavirus, if you are feeling unwell, please do not attend the sales.”
“If you have stock you need to sell, please get someone to deliver them to the mart for you and either we can sell them for you, or perhaps, you could nominate someone else to sell them for you.”
“Anyone who does not need to attend the mart ie. is not selling or purchasing stock, unfortunately, we must insist you do not attend.”
“Disinfectant and soap will be available in the mart, please ensure that you use this freely and, in particular, before entering the office and canteen areas.”
“In general, we ask that all farmers be more vigilant than normal and be aware of the spread of the virus and hopefully, we can all help keep each other safe.” the statement added.
The spokesperson noted that sales at this venue will “continue as normal until we are advised otherwise”.
In a post on social media, a spokesperson for Maam Cross Mart said: “Maam Cross Mart will go ahead tomorrow, Saturday, 14th, but we ask our customers to bear the following in mind.”
“Hand sanitiser [is] available at office and soap and water in bathrooms. Only come if you are buying or selling stock. Please do not attend if you only want a natter with your buddies.
“Please wash your hands. If you are not feeling the best. then ask a neighbour/friend to bring your stock to sell or buy for you. They’ll only be delighted to help!!”
“Please wash your hands. Be vigilant with personal and general hygiene. (no nose-picking, spitting, biting of nails, no handshaking, no kissing, need we go on?).”
“Most importantly, please, please remember that, as a community, it is more important now than ever to keep supporting one another in these strange times.” the social media post added.