The Livestock Auctioneers' Association Limited (LAA)

Updated guidance to livestock markets following national lockdown announcement

5th January 2021

In light of the Government announcement yesterday evening (4th Jan) to place England into full lockdown restrictions as a result of the increased COVID-19 threat, the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has issued updated guidance to its members to ensure continued safe trade within livestock markets.

The devolved UK Governments all agree that livestock markets play a vital role in the efficient supply of product into the food chain, and have therefore stated that these businesses should remain open to facilitate this service.

We strongly recommend that all livestock sales, conducted within a livestock market, adopt a “Drop & Go” policy with immediate effect and until further notice. Social distancing in markets must also revert to the minimum 2m gap, as implemented in the initial lockdown period.

The sale of prime stock, cull animals, store and breeding stock are still permitted. Sales of machinery, on farm dispersal sales (one vendor), sales of fodder and other goods should be conducted online, where possible.

Gatherings of people will not be permitted at any time. All canteens and/or catering facilities will now revert to a take-away service only.

In conjunction with previously implemented safety measures, the LAA outlines and reiterates the following key guidelines:

  • Markets will implement a “drop and go” policy for vendors.
  • Markets will enforce buyer restrictions to allow for Social Distancing, not allowing more people at the ringside than the 2m gap allows. The wearing of face coverings is NOT a substitute for the need to maintain Social Distancing at all times.
  • Face coverings must be worn by everyone attending the site, within enclosed spaces – exemptions are permitted for anyone with a medical condition that allows a face covering not to be worn.
  • Markets will ensure that the highest hygiene measures and hand washing facilities are in place.
  • Markets will keep a register of those that attend their sales – contact name, address and telephone number

The LAA appreciates the continued support and understanding of its clients and operating member marts. Our priorities are to protect public health while still being able to supply the food chain, and therefore we will do everything possible to mitigate the risk of further virus spread.

The latest lockdown is expected to stay in force until mid-February. Buyers and vendors are urged to contact their local auctioneer for specific measures within individual livestock markets.