Livestock marts across Northern Ireland are currently exploring alternative ways, in which livestock trade can be undertaken, during the current health pandemic.
Arrangements that have been adopted by other livestock marts across the country, such as online sales or matching individual sellers and buyers, are being considered.
In a document, produced by the Ulster Farmers’ Union, a spokesperson said: “Industry stakeholders are all supportive of the position of mart operators that they will not be reopening for traditional sales while the Covid-19 situation remains at present levels.”
“Key stakeholders have been meeting to finalise a set of robust operational protocols.”
“These protocols would permit the gradual and phased reintroduction of sales on a limited but possibly more frequent basis for particular categories of livestock,” they added.
The UFU spokesperson said is the responsibility of all within the industry to self-regulate and implement these robust operational protocols to ensure business can be conducted in a manner that is safe for staff, farmers and buyers.
Some marts are expected to be operating using these alternatives arrangements as early as the middle of next week (week commencing April 13th).
“Individual marts are expected to publicise their own plans and the situation is expected to be kept under ongoing review.” the spokesperson concluded.
Image source: Markethill Livestock & Farm Sales Facebook [File image]