Marts are opening a “drop and go” service as level 5 measures take force around the country. The body representing marts, ICOS, has urged farmers to take all necessary precautions, limit their contacts and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Given the rising number of cases, some marts have even postponed sales or reopening until later in January.
“Under the current measures, it is ‘drop and go’ for sellers of livestock, and potential buyers may then view animals in pens for a short period of time and must then leave the premises and bid online,” said Ray Doyle, livestock and environmental services executive of ICOS.
We’re asking customers to check in with their mart locally
“Marts and their customers have demonstrated very strong compliance to date and this will continue where marts may also take decisions to operate temporary suspensions of trading, or restricted hours, in the interests of safety.
“We’re asking customers to check in with their mart locally and marts themselves will also be keeping their customers directly advised and updated.”
ICOS also pointed out that marts were operating under the following guidelines and asked farmers to take note:There are currently no ringside/live auctions taking place.Marts may take decisions to operate temporary suspensions of trading, or restricted hours, in the interests of safety.Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn. Hand washing is essential and sanitising gels must be used.As is currently the case, all people attending the mart must have their time and mobile number recorded.All sellers dropping animals must then immediately leave the mart premises. All potential buyers must contact the mart manager to arrange and get approval to view livestock before the sale. The actual viewing time allotted for viewing is up to the mart manager to decide.When the viewing time is up, all potential buyers must leave the mart premises and bid remotely online. Any mart not online can use a tendering system. Sales cannot start if buyers are on the premises.Buyers must co-operate and adhere to all necessary measures instructed during viewing times.Social distancing of two metres is obligatory at all times and there is to be no waiting or hanging around by customers on the premises. All sellers must be available to receive phone calls to accept /decline final bids for livestock, by arrangement with their local mart.
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