Limited services at marts across the country can resume

Limited services at marts across the country can resume.

Normal mart activity was banned last weekend when new restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus were announced.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that some services can continue at marts.

However, this is limited to essential movement, in particular, to maintain the food supply chain and protect the health and welfare of animals.

A farmer can now deliver calves to the mart, by appointment, and the mart can facilitate the sale.

Livestock and environmental services executive at ICOS, Ray Doyle, says it was vital that the decision on the operations of marts was adjusted.

Normal mart auction activity cannot resume until further notice.

But if someone does want to carry out work under these new restrictions, they must contact their local regional veterinary office for approval.

President of the Irish Farmers Association, Tim Cullinan says marts create a secure place to do business.

Independent deputy for Kerry Danny Healy-Rae has welcomed the announcement.

He says this is a positive development to ensure dairy farmers can off load small calves.