Live auctions will return at marts affiliated to the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) from Monday 8 June.
Marts which open will do so under strict protocols of social distancing, including recorded entry and exit to ensure that numbers are maintained at appropriate levels.
“Through our discussions with the Department of Agriculture and all other stakeholders to date, it has been possible to maintain limited trading processes at the marts during the lockdown period to date,” said Ray Doyle of ICOS.
“It is simply brilliant to be able restart open auctions and we pay tribute to everyone who has worked tirelessly to create the circumstances to make this possible.”
Doyle said marts had put in measures ranging from reconfigured seating arrangements to new methods of channelling livestock and visitors to ensure the two-metre distance rule was adhered to.
“The capability of our marts to resume full operations relies very much on the co-operation of our customers, buyers and sellers to maintain social distancing at all times and to work with our mart staff to ensure this will be the case,” Doyle stressed.
“In line with ongoing requirements for health and safety, we still recommend that only people with actual business to conduct should attend marts, and everyone should continue to be aware of the public health guidelines available at hse.ie.”
“The resumption of open auctions will support animal welfare, maintain the supply chain, ensure continuity in the national herd and will help to avoid any glut in the trade of animals, allowing essential economic activity to take place, while foremost in all our minds is to ensure that everyone avoids any possibility for the further spread of COVID-19,” he concluded.
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