Restricted access to penning areas at marts looks to become the "new norm"
Restricted access to penning areas at marts looks set to become the "new norm", as marts in the north-west of the country lead the way in bringing in new health and safety measures.
Mart managers pointed out the focus on protocols surrounding animal movements at marts had been on the agenda of sales yards for some time.
Ray Doyle, marts executive with ICOS, who visited a number of marts implementing the new measures including yesterday's sale at Tuam, said it would become the "new norm" and it was "well received" by most farmers.
A number of marts moved to restrict access in their yards and around the penning areas, with viewing times for those purchasing before the sales.
He acknowledged that farmers need time to view the cattle before the sale, pointing out the measures would be reviewed over the coming days to ensure they were "user friendly".
It follows the four Aurivo Marts - Ballymote Livestock Mart, Co Sligo, Mohill Livestock Mart, Co Leitrim, and Ballinrobe and Balla Livestock Marts, Co Mayo - taking the decision to close temporarily for a safety review following a man being airlifted to hospital after an incident involving a bull at Mohill Livestock Mart.
Aurivo confirmed Balla, Ballinrobe and Ballymote marts will reopen for business this week, while Mohill mart will reopen on Wednesday, April 25.
"New health and safety procedures will be operational. Only marts staff will be allowed in the sales yard and new rules will apply in relation to customer access to various areas of the mart, as the health and safety of our customers, members and employees is of paramount importance," Aurivo stated.