18 May 2021
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The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has reminded its members and their clients that under current guidance, livestock markets should continue to operate on a business only basis, in line with the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap, and following current biosecurity protocols.
As some restrictions ease within the hospitality sector in both England and Wales today (Monday May 17, 2021), the LAA has confirmed that auction mart cafes and canteens are able to resume service, at the discretion of the market operator, having until now only been able to open and operate on a take-away basis.
All other protocols, as announced on April 12, 2021 when vendors were permitted to return to markets on a business only basis, facilities allowing, will remain in place until further notice. As of April 12, 2021, farm sales and machinery sales were also permitted to resume, under the same protocols as livestock sales.
The LAA has outlined and reiterated the following key guidelines
It is the responsibility of the market operator to ensure COVID-19 protocol is in place at all times. Each market’s facilities are different, and therefore it is at the discretion of the market operator as to how this is managed, with some retaining the ‘drop and go’ policy and others allowing vendors to return on a business only basis, where facilities allow.
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA explains, “The LAA appreciates the continued support and understanding of our clients and operating member marts. Our priorities are to protect public health while still being able to supply the food chain.
“We await announcement on the lifting of further restrictions on June 21, 2021, when, it is hoped, our marts can return to a nearer ‘normal’ operation.”
Buyers and vendors are urged to contact their local auctioneer for specific measures within individual livestock markets.