Throughout the COVID pandemic auction marts remained open, operating under a strict and robust set of guidelines however as restrictions ease and we move forward into a new phase of controlling COVID it is important to know exactly what rules and relaxations are in place across auction marts. It is advisable to speak directly with the mart beforehand to ensure that you are fully aware of what is expected of you.
As a number of national restrictions were eased moving into Level 0 livestock auction marts have also seen significant changes. The main relaxation being the removal of physical distancing. Although some restrictions have been lifted it is important to know that there still key regulations in place which farmers and those attending marts need to adhere to.
Face coverings remain a mandatory requirement (in Scottish markets) in all indoor spaces, including all enclosed areas of auction markets. A face covering/mask must be worn (unless you are exempt) throughout indoor areas of the mart.
Test and Protect
Contact tracing remains in operation so you will be required to give marts contact details when attending sales by means of signing in on your arrival to the mart. A number of marts still require you to pre-register your attendance beforehand again providing contact details at the time of booking in for attending a sale.
Other key auction protocols in place at marts
- Buyers intending to purchase livestock should pre-register their attendance for sales with the mart office or auctioneering staff prior to the sale day
- Buyers will be required to sign in and out of auction mart premises
- Buyers must declare that they have not been in contact with a positive Covid-19 case
- Buyers are advised to make use of bio – security measures such as hand washing facilities, hand gels/sanitisation points, foot dips etc.
- General public, trade and those not directly involved in sales may only attend with prior permission from the mart.
Marts operate in many different ways with each mart’s facilities being different therefore it is at the discretion of the market operator as to how restrictions are managed. It is important to remember that auction marts are also operating in different local authority areas which may mean a difference in the rules and regulations imposed depending on the local authority guidelines. Buyers and vendors are urged to contact the mart office or a member of staff before attending the mart to make sure you are fully aware of the specific measures in place within individual livestock marts.
For those selling stock at markets there continues to be a ‘drop and go’ policy for vendors across many of auction centres requiring vendors to pre-register their attendance with their stock. However this is not the case for all marts so it is advised to speak to the mart operator prior to attending the sale.
Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID19 or who are isolating (in line with the 10 day period) must not attend the mart. Anyone who has been in contact with a COVID19 case either knowingly or have been informed through Contact Tracing should be isolating for the prescribed period and should not attend the mart. It is advised that anyone displaying any illness or symptoms of any illness or has any underlying health problem should consider whether it is appropriate to attend the market.
For further info on the latest guidance please refer to The Livestock Auctioneers Association Limited (LAA) https://www.laa.co.uk/ (England and Wales)
For Scotland please refer to The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) https://iaas.co.uk/
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