Buyers can return to mart rings from the 17th May, the Government has decided.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue confirmed online trading will continue, alongside in-ring buying.
“The return of in-ring buying will continue to be augmented by the facilitation of online sales which have worked exceptionally well during this challenging time for all of us,” Minister McConalogue said.
“The move to online-only platforms in October has proven to be an excellent way of trading cattle and sheep, with strong throughput, coupled with steady prices over this time. In fact, online sales have been proven to reach a much higher number of farmers and agents than the traditional in-person sales.”
Buyers attending the sales ring will need a prior appointment to view stock in pens. Face coverings need to worn and 2m social distancing will be in place.
“Most importantly, I know that the move to online-only sales has played a major role in helping to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases for Ireland. I am looking forward to this significant progression towards a blended approach of online and in-ring sales, which will continue into the future. I again commend the work of mart managers and farmers for engaging so meaningfully with all public health guidelines in recent months. Your heroic efforts have helped to ensure the continuity of live trade while, most importantly, keeping our communities safe,” the Minister concluded.
Cattle throughput from 1st January to 14th March 2021 was at 94% of the comparable period in 2020. Sheep throughput in the same period was at 100% of the comparable period for 2020.