‘Farmers need a trusted broker’: Mart reopening measures lauded

The Government’s decision to allow mart businesses to facilitate livestock trade under strict standard operating procedures has been welcomed by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), which says it is critical that marts are assisted to stay going.

The decision means that marts can be used for delivering calves for sale and for weighing lots of older cattle and sheep.

Lauding the news, ICSA suckler chairperson Ger O’Brien said:

Farmers have to sell livestock for cash-flow purposes. This is a critical time of year for many farmers who wish to sell calves or stores, especially now as the grass season takes off.

“Keeping marts operational, even in a reduced capacity, is essential,” the chairperson stressed.

“Farmers are very frustrated that meat factories are cutting prices and we need every possible outlet for stock, including the live export trade.

“On the other hand, farmers need a trusted broker that will ensure secure payment, provide accurate weighing facilities and deliver compliance with the Department AIM [Animal Identification and Movements] database.

Looking ahead, it is critical that marts are assisted to stay going and this will help them somewhat.

“The ICSA is urging the department officials to fast-track all applications from marts which involves quickly approving their standard operating procedure (SOP) documents, which marts will be submitting in the coming days,” O’Brien concluded.