Following recent announcements from the NI Executive in relation to COVID-19 restrictions, the Livestock Market Stakeholder group have met to review the safety protocol that has been implemented since the start of the pandemic.
Livestock markets are providing a critical service for the industry, especially at this time of the year, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
“It is vital that everyone within the farming and rural community work together and follow the COVID-19 safety precautions to ensure marts are a safe environment to do business in.” a DAERA spokesperson outlined.
‘No longer a venue for a social gathering’
“As a result of the pandemic, livestock markets are no longer a venue for a social gathering and farmers are encouraged to only attend a mart if it is absolutely essential.”
“With many marts now showing sales live on the internet, sellers are encouraged to view their livestock being sold from the safety of their own farm.”
“In situations where buyers and sellers have to attend, they are required to wear a face-covering and maintain social distancing rules.”
“Mart operators also have hand sanitisers at key locations to ensure good hand hygiene practices can be followed.”
Prevent stricter restrictions being implemented
New rules have also being introduced regarding canteens and cafes on mart premises. These food outlets can only provide a takeaway service and food cannot be consumed on the premises at this time.
“Auctioneers and mart staff are continuing to make regular announcements and provide advice to buyers, sellers and staff.”
“For everyone’s safety and to prevent stricter restrictions being implemented, it is essential that this advice is followed.” the spokesperson concluded.