I have called on the Minister for Agriculture and the Government to review the restrictions imposed on livestock marts.
“As a result of the level 5 restrictions, marks are in crisis and cattle prices are plummeting to between €100 and €150 per head this week”.
Over 500 cattle had to be brought home from Ballinasloe Mart as a result of the on-line system breaking down.
“I am requesting the Government to allow buyers to go to marts under social distancing rules. The marts have put restrictions in place including records for contact tracing and sanitization. The mart managers also have identified the capacity of their respective marts”.
“Whilst I accept that we all need to respect the restrictions now in place, I urge the restrictions to be reviewed to allow buyers enter the marts on a controlled basis”.
The issue of having an online sales system that is fit for purpose and resilient is vital and until we are confident that the system is full proof, we need to allow marts to use their discretion in a responsible way.
“I have been in contact with marts and they are worried that prices will be affected negatively which would be detrimental to farmers”.