Health and safety risks are heightened at marts, with large numbers of cattle brought together in unfamiliar surroundings.
Anxious cattle at the mart pose a threat, they may retreat, take flight or attack. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advises that they will not typically attack unless they think there is no other real option.
If you’re bringing cattle to the mart, you should watch out for the danger signs such as tail position and if cattle are pouring the ground.
The HSA has a list of do’s and don’t when it comes to cattle handling at the mart:
- Do back right up to the loading bay so escape is impossible when loading/unloading.
- Do let staff know if you are delivering a bull or a fractious animal.
- Do watch out for cattle being moved – move out of the way.
- Do follow any request from staff.
- Do watch for an escape route.
- Do watch for any escaped/out of control cattle.
- Do park your jeep/tractor in an orderly manner.
- Don’t leave any possible escape gaps when loading/unloading.
- Don’t attempt to help with cattle unless you’re asked to.
- Don’t stand talking in the race when staff are moving cattle.
- Don’t bring in children.
- Don’t move livestock without a stick or a sorting paddle.
- Don’t smoke inside the buildings.
- Don’t bring your dog to the mart.
- Don’t poke the cattle in the sale ring.