Despite many Covid-19 restrictions having now eased, key safety messages remain for farmers at livestock marts.
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Livestock Market Stakeholder engagement group has continued to meet on a regular basis to ensure that livestock markets can remain open and safe for farmers to attend.
Mart operators wish to remind everyone attending of the key critical points to stay safe:
- Keep your distance;
- Wear face coverings;
- Wash or sanitise your hands regularly;
- If you cough or sneeze remember – ‘catch it - bin it - kill it'.
Anyone with any signs or symptoms of illness should not attend the mart.
In a statement, the stakeholder group said: "Mart operators have continued the use [of] online systems that allow buyers and sellers to view and participate in sales from their own farms.
"These systems have proved very successful. Farmers are encouraged to continue to make use of this technology to minimise risk of infection and illness to themselves and their families.
Marts have also put in place many practical measures to protect people and ensure that they can continue to provide an essential service.
"One-way systems, good ventilation, sanitisers, encouraging social distancing along with signage and making regular advisory announcements.
"The marts are an essential part of our rural economy so please help to ensure your own, and everyone else’s safety, by following the advice."
The members of the Livestock Market Stakeholder engagement group are Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU), Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers' Association, the Northern Ireland Livestock and Auctioneers Association and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland.