Level 5 restrictions in livestock marts have prompted farmers to start a petition to re-open marts to buyers and sellers.
Under Level 5 restrictions, sales are online-only, with purchasers required to conduct business remotely. No buyers are allowed to gain access to sales rings and all lots are sold subject to the seller’s confirmation.
In a statement last night (Sunday, October 25th), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed that online-only sales will continue.
One of three online auction systems failed for a period on Saturday, impacting 17 livestock marts. Some sales were called off, whilst cattle returned home unsold at several venues.
In response, a group of farmers have started a petition to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
In a note on Change.org, they said: “We, Ireland’s farmers, demand Ireland’s marts are reopened as online systems collapsed and are proving unreliable.”
“As a result, thousands of livestock went unsold around the country and left farmers under extra financial pressure with their livestock back home.”
“This issue needs to be addressed ASAP. We now call on Charlie Mc Conalogue to show his worth as Minister for Agriculture as we, the Irish farmers, will not be tolerating our marts being closed and our livelihood being taken away.”
Cattle unsold, others not reaching market value
“Thousands of cattle and sheep went unsold and returned home to farms not equipped to keep them causing uncalled for stress to farmers depending on them to pay bills.”
“Up to 40% of livestock are not reaching their market value and going unsold on the online system. We now need instant action on reopening our marts.”
To sign the petition, click here.