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Marts across NI to close due to Covid-19

Livestock marts across Northern Ireland are set to close due to concerns over Covid-19.

A number of marts took to social media this evening (Sunday, March 22nd) to inform customers that the decision has been taken following consultations with medical experts and by agreement of the NI Livestock Auctioneers’ Association. 

Ballymena 

Ballymena Livestock Mart has stated that it is postponing all sales for a minimum of two weeks with immediate effect. 

A spokesperson for J A McClelland & Sons Auctioneers Ltd said: “Due to the very real threat from Covid-19, Ballymena Livestock Market are cancelling all livestock sales for a minimum of 2 weeks with immediate effect as part of a corporate decision by NILAA.” 

“Our Ballyclare office will have reduced working protocols with immediate effect.” 

“In the meantime, we would encourage all our customers, staff and their families to take special care of themselves and each other at this very difficult time.” the statement concluded. 

Swatragh 

In a statement on social media, Paul Coyle, general manager of Northern Counties Co-operative Enterprises, said Swatragh Livestock Mart is closed until further notice.

“We have been advised by medical experts this afternoon that, Swatragh Livestock Market and all livestock markets, who are members of the N.I. Livestock Association, should close for a period of time for the safety of their customers, staff and the community.”

“The safety of everyone has always been our priority and we will update you with further information in due course.”

“We wish the entire farming community and their families well in these unprecedented circumstances and hope to see you all again soon,” Coyle concluded. 

Kilrea

Meanwhile, H.A McIlrath & Sons Ltd also confirmed that Kilrea Livestock Mart will be closed until further notice.

In a post on social media, a spokesperson said: “After consultations with medical experts this afternoon, several livestock markets have decided to close for the safety of their customers, staff and the community. There will be a full statement in due course.” 

Markethill 

A spokesperson for Markethill Livestock & Farm Sales Ltd stated: “Due to the very real threat from Covid-19, Markethill Livestock & Farm Sales Ltd. are cancelling all livestock sales for a minimum of 2 weeks with immediate effect as part of a corporate decision by NILAA.” 

“Our Markethill town office will also be closed with immediate effect. In the meantime, we would encourage all our customers, staff and their families to take special care of themselves and each other at this very difficult time.” the statement concluded. 

Omagh Auction Mart is also closed until further notice. “After consultations with medical experts this afternoon, several livestock markets have decided to close for the safety of their customers, staff and the community. There will be a full statement in due course.” a spokesperson for Robinson & OKane Auctioneers explained. 

Hilltown

“Due to the very real threat from Covid-19, Hilltown Farmers Attested Sales Ltd are cancelling all livestock sales for a minimum of 2 weeks with immediate effect.” explained John Farnon, manager H.F.A.S. 

“In the meantime, we encourage all our customers, staff and their families to take care of themselves and each other during these very worrying times.” 

A full list of marts impacted will be published shortly – More to follow… 

File photo 

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