Coronavirus: Breeding stock sales at marts to resume from 27 April

Breeding stock sales at livestock auction markets will resume if social distancing procedures are observed
Breeding stock sales at livestock auction markets will resume if social distancing procedures are observed

Some sales of breeding animals will commence from Monday 27 April if buyers adhere to Covid-19 social distancing procedures.

Defra has agreed to permit sales of breeding animals if newly-established protocols are followed in livestock markets in England and Wales.

The operational changes implemented to protect public health remain in place, and all markets will continue to implement social distancing measures.

The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) said the heightened level of safety measures and security standards will mean sales can commence next week.

Chris Dodds, LAA executive secretary said: “Additional conditions will be implemented and extended to the sale of breeding animals, to ensure continued safe trade within LAA marts.

"This is 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 to provide reassurance that market activity does not undermine the important public health priorities of stopping the spread of COVID-19,” he added.

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.

What safety rules will livestock marts adhere to?

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


• 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.


• 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 vendors 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.