The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has reminded its members and their clients that under current guidance, livestock markets should continue to operate on a business only basis, in line with the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap and following current biosecurity protocols.
As restrictions eased in the hospitality sector on the 17th May, the LAA has confirmed that auction mart cafes and canteens are able to resume service, at the discretion of the market operator. All other protocols introduced on the 12th April, which stated vendors were permitted to return to markets on a business only basis, facilities allowing, will remain in place until further notice.
The same rules remain in place for farm and machinery sales.
The LAA has outlined and reiterated the following guidelines:
- Markets will enforce buyer and vendor restrictions to allow for Social Distancing. The wearing of face coverings is NOT a substitute for the need to maintain Social Distancing at all times.
- Face coverings must be worn by everyone attending the site, within enclosed spaces – exemptions are permitted for anyone with a medical condition that allows a face covering not to be worn.
- Markets will ensure that the highest hygiene measures and handwashing facilities are in place.
- Markets will keep a register of those that attend their sales – contact name, address and telephone number.
It is the responsibility of the market operator to ensure protocols are in place at all times. As facilities differ between markets, it is at the discretion of the operator as to how these rules are managed, with some retaining the drop and go policy, and others allowing vendors to return on a business only basis.
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA explained: “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.
“We await an announcement on the lifting of further restrictions on June 21, 2021, when, it is hoped, our marts can return to a nearer ‘normal’ operation.”
Buyers and vendors should contact their local auctioneer for specific measures in place at their local livestock market.