THE Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has confirmed that auction marts are open for business, as it announces its latest guidance updates amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The LAA is in regular dialogue with Government to ensure auction marts continue to operate in a way that is not detrimental to human health, and is monitoring the situation on an hourly basis to ensure marts do not become sites of concern for farmers.

Following a meeting with Defra and the Welsh Assembly on March 17, sales can continue and markets are “open for business”. However, there are actions that the Government is asking the LAA and its member companies to comply with, based on input from the LAA.

Chris Dodds, LAA executive secretary, said: “We have released guidance to our members and are advising farmers to only stay at auction marts for as long as it takes to conduct business.

“We also advise that mart canteens remain closed, and suitable and plentiful hand washing facilities are made available.”

As part of the new guidance, the LAA recommends restricted attendance of customers, with only those directly conducting business to enter the marts.

“The LAA is also recommending a review of non-essential food chain supply sales, such as fur and feather, or shrub and plant sales.

“It is important that our auction marts can support and minimise any disruption to the red-meat trade during the coronavirus outbreak,” said Mr Dodds.

Latest updates and guidance can be accessed by visiting the website at