Marts take drastic measures as reaction to COVID-19 pandemic
Strict rules have been put in place by many marts, some have closed down for the forseable future. Some marts are restricting attendance based on ensuring the 2 meter distance requirement is in place throughout the mart.
The 100- person limit and social distancing is putting huge pressure on the marts. Marts throughout the country want to ensure they play their part in reducing the rapid spread of the virus and are seeking at the same time to accommodate the farming community whose livihood requires the buying and selling of cattle.
Raphoe Mart already has notices up “All Marts cancelled until further notice”. GVM is suspending all sales except Calf sales ( in this busy calf season) until 28th March and will review the situation then.
Calf sales will take place in:
- Kilmallock on Monday and Wednesday evening.
- Drumcollogher on Thursday.
- Abbeyfeale on Saturday.
- Carrigallen on Saturday.
Also going ahead are a special show and sale of heifers in Carrigallen on Thursday 19 March
Postponed until 18th April is pedigree sale in Kilmallock planned Saturday 21 March.
PJ Buckley Chief Executive of GVM pointed to the age profile of many of their customers as being the most vulnerable being mostly made up of middle aged to older people
Other marts are restricting only the seller and those actually bidding in the ring area - as each “Lot” goes up for sale. Others are advising farmers not to come if they are “just looking” and have asked that children not be brought along to the marts. Mart canteens have been closed
Aurivo are to suspend all its livestock sales from Monday 23 March until at least the end of the month. Pre-booked sales Ballymote on Thursday, Balla on Saturday and Mohill on Saturday will proceed under new restrictions
In order to give more time for farmers to buy animals to comply with ANC rules - Ray Doyle ICOS has asked the Dept of of Agriculture to reduce the stocking density period from 7 months to 5 for ANC payments
Marts that have already announced closures ( for the immediate future ) include Raphoe, Ballybofey, Stranolar and Inishowen co-op, Goralea ( but are having a calf sale today Thursday), Thurles, Nenagh, Birr, Kilmallock ( other than calf sales).
Cork Marts have introduced a “drop and go” where sellers must remain in their lorries/tractors/cars while mart staff unload animals.
More and more marts are making decisions on a daily basis – please check withlocal mart for latest information.