Selected breeding stock sales to recommence in England and Wales

Selected categories of breeding stock sales are set to recommence in England and Wales under newly established protocols.

It comes as the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) came to an agreement with Defra and Welsh Government earlier this week.

Marts have had to demonstrate that they can adhere to social distancing procedures and also make several operational changes implemented to protect public health.

LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds said: “The heightened level of safety measures and security standards adopted by all LAA markets mean that, by following the same protocols, we have agreed that some breeding sales can commence from Monday, April 27.

“Additional conditions will be implemented and extended to the sale of breeding animals, to ensure continued safe trade within LAA marts.

This not a relaxation of controls, but an extension to the stringent conditions already implemented to allow for these sales.

“We will continue to work with Government officials to provide reassurance that market activity does not undermine the important public health priorities of stopping the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

However, show and sales, or sales that would normally generate a large gathering of people, such as special pedigree bull sales, are not permitted under this review.

As with stores sales, markets will encourage buyers to work together, buying on behalf of others where possible to reduce attendance numbers.

New protocols

All markets will continue to adhere to the conditions already in place as detailed below:

Buyers

  • Markets will enforce buyer restrictions to allow for social distancing, not allowing more people at the ringside than the 2m gap allows.
  • Markets strongly advise purchasers to ‘double up’, with one person to buy for multiple clients.
  • All purchasers must register with the market and only ‘known’ purchasers will be given access to the market.
  • Markets will ensure that the highest hygiene prevention measures are in place.
  • All potential ‘gathering’ points WILL be prevented and all cafes, mobile units, etc. WILL be closed
  • Markets will keep a register of those that attend their sales – contact name, address and telephone number.
  • At the conclusion of the sale, buyers will be asked to enter the sales office in a way that does not result in too many entering at any one time.
  • Buyers will be asked to sanitise on entry to the market and again on exit.

Vendors

  • Markets will implement a “drop and go” policy for vendors to prevent any sellers from entering the market.
  • Vendors MUST remain in their vehicles when they arrive at the market – the market staff will unload the vehicle at the loading dock, and the vendor’s vehicle must then leave the mart site immediately.
  • The sale documentation will be collected by the market staff from the vendor’s vehicle when they arrive at the unloading docks – Vendors MUST NOT take the paperwork to the market office, or enter the market pennage area for any reason.