Marts to run a ‘drop and go’ policy due to national lockdown

Sales of livestock which are held within marts in the UK have been told to bring in a ‘drop and go’ policy with an immediate effect due to the latest national lockdown across the UK which was announced on January 4.

The UK government has agreed that livestock marts continue to play a ‘vital role’ in keeping the supply chain steady across the UK.

Marts will be allowed to continue trading due to their importance to the food supply.

The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has recommended that all marts that are hosting livestock sales should adopt this ‘drop and go’ policy until further instruction.

All marts are also advised to stringently enforce the social distancing gap of 2m as was seen during the first lockdown in March 2020.

Sales of cull animals, breeding stock, store and prime stock will be allowed to continue, but sales of machinery and other agricultural goods will have to be held online.

Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA, said:

“The LAA appreciates the continued support and understanding of our clients and operating member marts.

“Our priorities are to protect public health while still being able to supply the food chain, and therefore we will do everything possible to mitigate the risk of further virus spread.”

The LAA has outlined and reiterated the following key guidelines for marts:
  • Markets will implement a ‘drop and go’ policy for vendors;
  • Markets will enforce buyer restrictions to allow for social distancing, not allowing more people at the ringside than the 2m gap allows;
  • Face coverings must be worn by everyone attending the site, within enclosed spaces – exemptions are permitted for medical conditions;
  • Markets will ensure that the highest hygiene measures and hand washing facilities are in place;
  • Markets will keep a register of those that attend their sales – contact name, address and telephone number.

The national lockdown is expected to last until mid-February.