Mr Padraic Gerety, Longford IFA Livestock Chairman, said ongoing restrictions on marts are a significant issue for livestock farmers and the trade.
“While the marts have made huge efforts to operate under the current restrictions the sooner we can get the auction rings re-opened and marts back up and running again, while maintaining necessary COVID-19 protections, the better,” he said.
Mr. Gerety said marts provide an essential service to farmers and the agricultural community in terms of the livestock trade, especially open and transparent market price competition, and also security of payment.
“While online trading has been a great help and is certainly part of the future for marts, the closure and restrictions on the trade this spring have hit the livestock sector, marts and farmers. The spring is peak trading season for cattle and a lot of this trade has been lost.”
IFA strongly supports the efforts of marts and their representative bodies to re-open the services as soon as possible.
“Detailed discussions have taken place with the Department of Agriculture and protocols and procedures have been worked out, which hopefully will facilitate a return towards a more normal service as soon as possible,” he said.
Mr. Gerety said the marts, as an essential service provider, have a very strong case to make to Government for assistance to get through this very difficult COVID-19 crisis.