The Livestock Market Stakeholder group have met to discuss and review the protocol that is in place to ensure the safety of all who attend and work at livestock sales across Northern Ireland.
The meeting was held ahead of a new six-week Covid-19 lockdown in Northern Ireland.
How marts in Northern Ireland will operate during lockdown
In a statement, a spokesperson said:
“The Livestock Market Stakeholder group welcome the news from the NI Executive that Livestock Markets will be permitted to remain open to ensure essential livestock trading but recognise that this is a time of significant risk in relation to the spread of COVID-19.”
“Following the review of the protocol, it has been agreed that from Monday, January 4th, farmers selling non-breeding livestock will not be permitted on-site to view stock being sold.”
“This will help minimise the number of people on-site during sales and reduce the risk of virus spread. Sellers should deliver livestock to the Mart on sale day and give relevant paperwork to staff without entering the Mart buildings.”
“A number of markets have now put in place an online system that allows buyers and sellers to view and participate in sales from their own farms. Sellers can also be contacted by telephone in order to agree sales.”
In line with current restrictions, mart canteens and cafés will only be able to provide a takeaway service.
“Auctioneers and mart staff will continue to make regular announcements and provide advice to those in attendance. For everyone’s safety, it is essential that this advice is followed.”
“The stakeholder engagement group want to re-emphasis that everyone within the farming community must work together to ensure all COVID-19 safety precautions are followed.”