Mart guidelines being issued for Level 4 restrictions

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is issuing mart guidelines in relation to the operation of livestock marts now under Level 4 restrictions, according to the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS).

In a brief statement, ICOS livestock marts executive Ray Doyle said:

“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have informed me and will be communicating directly to all marts the following guidelines for Level 4 restrictions at marts – but as with all Covid-19 restrictions these are subject to change at short notice.”

In a summary of what will be communicated shortly, ICOS said:
  1. Buyers only allowed to attend marts and must remain at a 2m distance as per the agreed standard operating procedure (SOP) for each mart ring centre;
  2. Masks are mandatory, shields are not acceptable;
  3. Sellers must drop and go and cannot stay on the mart premises after animals are unloaded;
  4. Buyers will not be allowed to pre-view livestock in the penning areas due to concerns regarding maintaining the social distance rules.

At the moment, in the event of Level 5, it is proposed that marts would be on line only, with only mart staff working on site with drop and go for sellers, ICOS said, adding “let’s hope this doesn’t happen”.

Speaking to AgriLand, Doyle said that it is positive that marts will be able to operate under Level 4. Encouraging farmers to not panic about the situation, highlighting that trade is still continuing, he said that sales will continue.

“If we can get through the next four weeks, the bulk of the sales for the year will be completed,” he added.