'The pens should be reserved for employees only' - Minister backs crackdown on mart safety
People must use common sense themselves and recognise the dangers of mixing with animals, according to the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen.
The Minister is who is responsible for Workplace Safety policy said that under no circumstances should members of the public be in the passages between the pens or the pens themselves because cattle at marts are in unfamiliar surroundings and their behaviour can be unpredictable.
It comes following a major Health and Safety crackdown by mart owners and managers with an effective ban in many marts on farmers entering areas where cattle are penned.
New rules involve keeping mart visitors and livestock apart from each other this may include restricted access to livestock delivery points, closing off passageways and the establishment of gantries and bridges to allow for safe viewing of livestock, depending on the size of the mart involved.
It came following a serious accident in Mohill Mart where a man sustained severe head injuries after an incident involving an animal.
Minister Breen said mart owners and managers have statutory obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
"They have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and the general public.
"Most marts and co-operatives are very conscious of safety around animals.