Ongoing restrictions in livestock marts are a significant issue for livestock farmers and the trade, according to IFA President Tim Cullinan.
The Tipperary native said that the sooner the marts re-open, while maintaining COVID-19 protocol, the better.
Re-opening of marts
He said livestock marts are an essential service to the farming community in terms of livestock trading, market price competition and security of payment.
“While online trading has been a great help and is certainly part of the future for marts, the closure and restrictions on the trade this spring have hit the livestock sector, marts and farmers. The spring is peak trading season for cattle and a lot of this trade has been lost,” he said.
The IFA have been supporting the efforts of the marts and their representative bodies to re-open the service and, in doing so, have held discussions with the higher powers.
“Detailed discussions have taken place with the Department of Agriculture and protocols and procedures have been worked out, which hopefully will facilitate a return towards a more normal service as soon as possible.”
Cullinan continued to say that the marts, as an essential service, have a very strong case to make to the Government for financial support to sustain them through this difficult period.
He said IFA strongly supports the case for an amnesty on rates, Government assistance with insurance costs and grant aid for investment in IT and online technology trading developments in the marts.