Limited mart yard access poses ‘a considerable culture change’

New safety measures being employed by a number of marts across the country will pose “a considerable culture change“, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed.

In recent weeks, various marts have confirmed that they will be restricting the access of those attending sales to areas where livestock are being moved on a regular basis.

Some marts have indicated that only mart staff will be allowed in the yard where livestock are held during the sale and – in some instances – that only mart staff will be permitted to pen livestock on arrival or to gather livestock in the aftermath of the sale.

Also Read: ‘Only mart staff’ to be allowed in sales yard at Roscommon Mart

Speaking to AgriLand, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “I’m not going to trespass in what is ultimately an issue between marts and their insurers.

It, obviously, will be a considerable culture change for people who go to the mart and like to put their hand on the animal’s rump and see what they are buying.

The minister also acknowledged the incident which occurred recently in Mohill Mart, Co. Leitrim – where a man was injured by a bull and had to be airlifted to hospital – and wished the injured party all the best in his recovery.

Continuing, Minister Creed said: “We’re dealing with dangerous animals and marts will need to make sure that they have the appropriate measures in place – a lot of marts have invested in walk-overs.

“I think – undoubtedly – that is going to be the future of livestock marts.”

Limited mart yard access is ‘the new reality’

Last week, the Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society’s (ICOS’s) livestock services executive, Ray Doyle, confirmed that limited mart yard access is “the new reality“.

Doyle believes that this is a step in the right direction in relation to health and safety, but he stressed that it must not detract from the prospect of a farmer buying or selling animals at a mart.

It is something that has been brewing for a while, but it has to be done in a measured way.

“I think it is a positive development and something that should continue across the country.

“Mart operators are doing it for the best reasons; health and safety. We have to limit the access of people to areas where cattle are being moved around.

“Farmers can’t simply walk down passageways like they have for the past 20 years; rules on building sites have changed over that time – this is the new reality for livestock marts now,” he said.