Farmers and crofters have been told to heed Covid-19 rules when visiting livestock auction marts.
The plea from the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) – the trade body for livestock auction marts across the country – comes amid rising cases of Covid-19 and concerns over the impact of the new Omicron variant.
IAAS executive director, Neil Wilson, said the organisation continued to work with the Scottish Government to understand what specific measures will be applicable to auction marts and their constituent parts.
“At the moment we want to ensure that all attendees at auction marts take heed of the baseline measures such as wearing a face covering, completion of Test and Protect information and regular hand washing/sanitising,” added Mr Wilson.
“We would also advise taking a lateral flow test before attending any potentially crowded areas.”
Mr Wilson hinted at upcoming changes to the rules surrounding attendance at livestock markets and said: “We do expect to see restrictions tightened for those attending marts over coming days but we cannot yet be specific on those increased restrictions.”
Various measures were introduced at auction marts during the course of the pandemic including a restriction on numbers attending, a requirement for farmers selling animals to drop them off and not attend mart, and at one stage the closure of mart eateries and the cancellation of pre-sale shows.