ICMSA president Pat McCormack: has called for 25 people to be allowed attend marts
The president of ICMSA has called for marts to be permitted to have up to 25 persons physically present at sales.
Tipperary farmer Pat McCormack said that as long as the recommended social distancing and other regulations were fully observed, it was difficult to see how marts should be different to other essential services.
Mr McCormack said that that this is traditionally a very busy period for weanling producers and if their trade could be facilitated – subject, of course, to observance of all Covid guidelines – then that would be a step in the right direction.
He said that the farmers concerned might only have one opportunity to make their margin on their stock and on that basis they should be afforded the opportunity.
It was, he said, obviously going to be a decision for the relevant Government Departments, but ICMSA believes that we could have up to 25 persons physically at the mart and still be comfortably in a situation where no-one is within two or three meters of anyone else.
The ICMSA president said he was very reluctant to ever comment on areas where medical experts have already given an opinion, but he couldn’t see how 25 people scattered around a naturally ventilated mart were any more exposed than 25 people in a completely enclosed and indoor supermarket.
There are farmers out there who just don’t have either the broadband or IT facilities and If they could be permitted to attend their local marts under proper protocols then that should be done, he said.