Mart trading arrangements are being monitored and assessed on a daily basis ICOS has said, but will continue to operate under the strict guidelines issued by the Government last Thursday.

On Monday evening, ICOS environment and livestock executive Ray Doyle said: "It’s business, not as usual, but continuing for now and this may change day to day, depending on the overall situation and ongoing guidance from the authorities."

Special measures

Doyle said ICOS had seen a much greater awareness of the special measures in place.

“At ICOS mart sales today [Monday], we are seeing a greatly increased awareness by the public of the enhanced measures required for everyone to successfully reduce the spread of Covid-19.

"Sellers are dropping off animals and simply calling mart managers at a later time to find out what they made and there are restrictions on the number of people around mart ringsides.

"This includes moving buyers to the seating areas and social distancing, rather than around the actual ringside itself," said Doyle.

Steer clear

The organisation is reminding farmers that only buyers and sellers of livestock will be permitted to attend marts, warning that anyone who does not have business to complete should steer clear of mart centres.

“We reiterate that only buyers and sellers of livestock will be permitted to attend the marts and controls are in place regarding numbers attending," said Doyle.

"At this time, social visitors and particularly children or vulnerable people must stay away from the marts until further notice is given.

"Everyone needs to co-operate with any and all instructions given in mart centres, as we all need the marts to continue trading during this busy spring period, but in a safe way and one which will not add to the spread of Covid-19."