Livestock auction markets will remain open during England's new Covid-19 lockdown, the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has confirmed.
England is under a new four-week lockdown, with new rules and regulations enforced from Thursday (5 November).
Livestock marts will remain open, and new, updated security guidance for the continuation of all livestock sales has been issued by LAA.
LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds said: "Livestock auction markets have been acknowledged as essential and critical businesses in the food supply chain.
"However, we have a responsibility to conduct our sales in a way that minimises the risk to both clients and staff of contracting Covid-19.”
Mr Dodds added it was 'imperative' that marts provided a safe and biosecure environment, as saw during the first lockdown period.
"We encourage buyers and vendors to liaise with their local auctioneer to check the specific safety protocols implemented at their particular market," he said.
What's the new advice?
The LAA has set out a series of new guidelines to all of its members, aligned to latest government advice.
Markets will adopt the following changes:
• Attendance at markets WILL be restricted to those conducting business, and only one representative per business will be allowed to enter the site
• Re-introduction of a “Drop and Go” policy where possible
• Market sales will be restricted to the sale of livestock – sales of machinery, poultry, fur & feather, furniture etc. will be postponed, or cancelled
• All on farm sales of machinery and/or non-livestock goods will be postponed, or cancelled
• Markets will ensure strict Social Distancing
• Face coverings must be worn at all times. The wearing of face coverings is NOT a substitute for the need to maintain Social Distancing at all times
• Market canteens/catering facilities will only offer a takeaway service
• Markets will continue to provide hand washing facilities
Markets will continue to keep a register of all attendees to their site