Covid restrictions on livestock markets

An expected increase in inspections from local authorities and police to enforce updated Covid measures at Scotland’s livestock marts in response to the Omicron variant will see a strong stance taken by staff on customers flouting the rules.

That was the message given yesterday by the sector’s trade body, the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) as new recommendations were issued by the Scottish Government.

Executive director Neil Wilson said it was crucial that farmers complied with the reintroduction of physical distancing throughout market premises.

He said that the measures were being taken to keep people safe, reduce the spread of the virus and protect the livestock trade and its role in the food chain.

Wilson encouraged those attending to take a lateral flow test before coming to the auction mart and only to attend if fit and well - and he issued a reminder that mask-wearing was mandatory and hand washing/sanitising facilities should be used on entry and under 16s were not allowed to attend.

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Other strongly recommended measures included a return to the drop and go policy and the pre-notification by buyers to allow completion of mandatory Test and Protect information

“Please be respectful to all market staff during these challenging times. They have been asked to follow the guidelines and the law to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible and to reduce the spread of the virus. Abuse of IAAS members will not be tolerated,” said Wilson.

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