Inspectors from DAERA have been making their presence known at livestock markets across NI in recent weeks, according to reports from local mart managers.

It follows on from a high-profile industrial tribunal hearing where claims were made about animal welfare and records of livestock movements at marts. The constructive dismissal case was taken forward against DAERA by former department vet Dr Tamara Bronckaers.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, a number of mart managers indicated that officials from DAERA’s veterinary service have been visible on site, making sure various rules are followed.

Matters of concern are being raised directly with mart staff and follow up checks conducted to ensure issues have been addressed and remedial action taken.

Mart managers report that any problems are sporadic, and where there are issues, they are happy to comply to maintain the integrity and public perception of their businesses.

Normal activity

A spokesperson for DAERA maintained there has not been an increased presence of inspectors at local livestock markets in recent weeks and checks have continued “as normal”.

“When DAERA staff inspect markets, they are looking for compliance with three main areas: animal welfare, biosecurity, and identification, registration and movement requirements,” the spokesperson explained.


In response to a written question from Alliance MLA John Blair, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said there was no regular pattern for DAERA’s inspections of each local mart.

“The frequency of the inspections is determined by the throughput of the individual markets and the history of compliance at past inspections,” Minister Poots said.