From this morning’s Government briefing by Elizabeth Canavan, Assistant Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach
As per restrictions put in place early last week, all marts must be cancelled and normal mart auction activity cannot resume until further notice.
However some mart services are considered to be essential and therefore can operate a reduced service to meet essential requirements.
Where employers are in a position to fully respect Health Service Executive guidelines in relation to physical distancing and other measures, it may be possible for mart owners to use their systems and facilities to assist with trade that would support the orderly sale of animals necessary to support the essential business of farming.
This includes where the movement of animals is essential, in particular to maintain the food supply chain and protect the health and welfare of animals.
In this context, two types of activities are considered possible, provided they are essential and minimise the potential for contact between people:
For calves, a service whereby a farmer can deliver calves to the mart, by appointment, so that orders for purchase can be matched and facilitated via the mart.
For older livestock, a weighing service for lots of cattle/sheep, by appointment, with the mart facilitating the transaction between a buyer and a seller.
Further information on how to engage in these activities and the operational requirements to do so are available on www.gov.ie