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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Anyone with any signs or symptoms of illness should not attend the mart’

Mart operators in Northern Ireland have reminded attendees of four “key critical” points to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said that the following “the key safety messages remain” despite the unwinding of some restrictions:

  1. Keep your distance;
  2. Wear face coverings;
  3. Wash or sanitise your hands regularly;
  4. If you cough or sneeze remember – ‘catch it – bin it – kill it’.

Mart operators in Northern Ireland

In a statement, a spokesperson for The Livestock Market Stakeholder said:

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Livestock Market Stakeholder engagement group have continued to meet on a regular basis to ensure that livestock markets can remain open and safe for farmers to attend.”

“Anyone with any signs or symptoms of illness should not attend the mart.”

“Mart operators have continued the use online systems that allow buyers and seller to view and participate in sales from their own farms. These systems have proved very successful.”

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Operators are encouraging farmers to continue to make use of this technology to minimise the risk of infection and illness to themselves and their families.

The spokesperson said marts have also implemented many practical measures to protect people.

These include:

  • One-way systems;
  • Good ventilation;
  • Sanitisers;
  • Encouraging social distancing;
  • Signage;
  • Making regular advisory announcements.

“The marts are an essential part of our rural economy. Please help to ensure your own, and everyone else’s safety, by following advice.”

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Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed to That’s Farming, that masks are required in livestock marts after October 22nd.

This publication contacted the DAFM in September.

In a statement at the time, the spokesperson said:

“As regards the specific question in relation to arrangements in marts after October 22nd, the position is physical distancing will not be required after that date, but that masks will be required, in keeping with the requirements for indoor retail.”

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