Livestock marts reopened today. Public auctions, which have been suspended since the lockdown, resumed but with strict protocols in place.

The mart network is a vital one for farmers to sell animals, but on 24 March, marts were effectively shut down.

Since then sales have been dramatically reduced, but online sales have increased and marts were matching buyers and sellers, and in some cases live streaming sales online.

Only buyers and sellers will be allowed on site and visitors will be recorded.

Social distancing will be in place and in some marts the physical layout will be very different.

Each mart has been assessed and protocols agreed with the Department of Agriculture.

The resumption of sales will not only help local economies, but will also address a glut of animals for sale, keep the supply chain moving and ease animal welfare concerns as livestock numbers have been building up on farms.

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