The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has welcomed the return of buyers to the rings of livestock marts all over the country.
Online trading will continue to be facilitated, alongside the return of in-ring buying. Minister McConalogue paid tribute to their efforts in keeping mart sales going while online. “This is great for our network of marts across the country. Mart managers, their staff as well buyers and sellers of livestock have shown tremendous resilience, agility and resourcefulness over the past 12- months in dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 while continuing to trade so seamlessly”
Cattle throughput from 1st January to 14th March 2021 was at 94% of the comparable period in 2020. Sheep throughput in the same period was at 100% of the comparable period for 2020. Buyers may attend the sales ring and view stock in pens. However, this must be done by prior appointment with the livestock mart.
Buyers who wish to be present at ringside must wear face coverings and adhere to strict 2m social distancing. Marts must also prevent the congregation of members of the public in the mart car park or at entry ways into mart buildings. Marts must operate according to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) which have been approved by their Regional Veterinary Office.
Minister McConalogue said he is encouraging farmers and buyers to continue to use online platforms as a way of trading livestock.