Following the Government’s announcement of Level 5 Covid restrictions, taking effect from midnight (Wednesday, October 21st), ICOS has provided the following guidance and directions to mart managers and customers.
This follows negotiations held jointly between ICOS, Associated Livestock Marts and the Department of Agriculture.
Redoubling of collective efforts
Ray Doyle, National Livestock & Environmental Services Executive of ICOS, said: “It’s essential that we all work together to protect health and wellbeing of people and communities throughout Ireland, and that we ensure animal welfare, all of which we have been doing throughout this crisis to date and which must continue with a redoubling of all our collective efforts to suppress and stop the spread of the virus.”
“We are very grateful for the co-operation of our customers and we ask for their continuing support and adherence to the measures that are necessary to ensure ongoing compliance and the continuance of our essential mart services.”
Guidance and directions:
- The mart is no longer a public auction but rather an auction by appointment whereby all sellers and buyers must give advance notice of their intention to attend the centre;
- Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn. Hand washing is essential and sanitising gels must be used;
- As is currently the case, all people attending the mart must have their time and mobile number recorded;
- All sellers dropping animals must then immediately leave the mart premises;
- All potential buyers must contact the mart manager to arrange and get approval to view livestock before the sale.
- The actual viewing time allotted for viewing is up to the mart manager to decide. When the viewing time is up, all potential buyers must leave the mart premises and bid remotely online;
- Any mart not online can use a tendering system as was in place last March. Sales cannot start if buyers are on the premises.
- Buyers must co-operate and adhere to all necessary measures instructed during viewing times;
- Social distancing of 2 metres is obligatory at all times and “there is to be no waiting or hanging around by customers on the premises”;
- All sellers must be available to receive phone calls to accept /decline final bids for livestock, by arrangement with their local mart.
“We greatly appreciate the co-operation and assistance of our customers with these measures. I also strong commend mart management and staff for the excellent job they are doing.”
“While onerous, the measures are designed to support health and wellbeing for everyone in our communities,” Doyle concluded.