Coronavirus: Marts to resume breeding stock auctions next week

Livestock marts can run some breeding stock sales from 27 April, provided the measures already in place for primestock and store auctions are observed and, in some cases, enhanced.  

Show and sales, or sales that would normally generate a large gathering of people, such as pedigree bull sales, will not be permitted.

As with stores sales, markets will encourage buyers to work together, buying on behalf of others where possible to reduce attendance numbers.

The resumption of breeding stock sales has been agreed with Defra and the Welsh government as a result of the adjustments already implemented to the operations of livestock markets in England and Wales and the demonstrable adherence to social distancing procedures, said the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA).

See also: More coronavirus news and advice

The operational changes implemented to protect public health remain in place, and all markets will continue to vigilantly implement social-distancing measures.

“Additional conditions will be implemented and extended to the sale of breeding animals, to ensure continued safe trade within LAA marts,” said Chris Dodds, LAA executive secretary.

“This not a relaxation of controls, but an extension to the stringent conditions already implemented to allow for these sales.

“We will continue to work with government officials to provide reassurance that market activity does not undermine the important public health priorities of stopping the spread of Covid-19,” he adds.

All markets will continue to adhere to the conditions already in place.


  • Markets will enforce buyer restrictions to allow for social distancing, not allowing more people at the ringside than the 2m gap allows.
  • Markets strongly advise purchasers to “double up”, with one person to buy for multiple clients.
  • All purchasers must register with the market and only known purchasers will be given access to the market.
  • Markets will ensure that the highest hygiene prevention measures are in place.
  • All potential gathering points will be prevented and all cafes and mobile units will be closed.
  • Markets will keep a register of those that attend sales – contact name, address and telephone number.
  • At the conclusion of the sale, buyers will be asked to enter the sales office in a way that does not result in too many entering at any one time.
  • Buyers will be asked to sanitise on entry to the market and again on exit.


  • Markets will implement a drop-and-go policy for vendors to prevent any sellers from entering the market.
  • Vendors to remain in their vehicles on arrival at the market. Market staff will unload the vehicle at the loading dock, and the vendor’s vehicle must leave the mart site immediately.
  • Sale documentation will be collected by the market staff from the vendor’s vehicle when they arrive at the unloading docks. Vendors must not take paperwork to the market office, or enter the market pens area for any reason.