Headford Mart announces new health and safety rules

Galway-based mart Headford Co-Operative Mart has announced that, due to new health and safety rules, from now on only mart staff will be allowed into the mart yard.

In a statement released by the co-operative on its Facebook page, the mart said: “Health and safety issues are always a growing concern in all marts and it’s time to make a change.

“Going forward we will only allow certified drovers in our mart yard. We are aware that this will cause major concern for many farmers, customers, sellers and buyers.

“This will take a bit of time to get used to and to get a good practice in place; however, we will co-operate with our customers if they are willing to co-operate with us,” the mart’s statement read.

This Saturday may prove to be very busy due to the matter of loading, unloading and gathering multiple stock. We would advise you to give yourself plenty of time.

“We would ask customers to be patient as we try this out for the first time. We are advising you to come into the office if you cannot get the attention of our yard staff and we will contact a member of the yard for you ASAP.

“We do hope that this stand will be a very posivitve one for marts going forward. We are only making this change for the safety of our customers, staff and livestock for the future.

“Each Saturday going forward we will do our utmost to improve this process for sellers and buyers,” the statement ended.

Today’s news follows on from a serious bull attack at Mohill Livestock Mart, Co. Leitrim, last Saturday (April 7), where a man needed to be airlifted to hospital.

Aurivo Co-operative Society – which operates the mart – confirmed the regrettable accident involving a customer and livestock which occurred on site yesterday morning.

In a statement, an Aurivo spokesperson said: “The gentleman concerned was airlifted from the site by the emergency services to Sligo University Hospital and his condition is being monitored.

“Management and staff at Aurivo will offer their full support to the gentleman and his family, and will be co-operating with the relevant authorities as an investigation is conducted into the accident,” the statement said.

Aurivo subsequently announced the temporary closures of each of its four livestock marts for the week, in the interests of health and safety.