Can farmers travel to buy and sell animals under current restrictions?

In light of new social distancing rules and tightened restrictions amid efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, the question has been asked as to whether the new rules prevent farmers from travelling to buy or sell animals at present.

In response to a query from AgriLand on the matter, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said:

Currently, there is no prohibition on the movement of animals within the country, [given] that farming is identified as an essential service.

“Within this context, however, individuals undertaking any travel need to consider whether such a journey is actually essential within the context of the public health crisis that we are experiencing,” the representative stressed.

‘Essential services’

In its list of “essential services”, published on Saturday, March 28, the Government provided further details on the movement of workers under this category.

The Government has stated that workers listed in the categories of essential services are permitted to travel to work – subject to compliance with the guidance below:

If you carry out an activity that is necessary for the continued provision of an essential service by another organisation or you are part of an essential supply chain, you should continue to carry out that activity.

“To the maximum extent possible, that should be done remotely,” the Government statement concluded.