Given the scale of the current Covid-19 situation, the devolved UK Governments have agreed that livestock markets play a vital role in the food chain and therefore have stated that they should remain open.
However, guidance from the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) states that livestock marts in Wales and England should operate a ‘drop and go’ policy until further notice to ensure that they can continue to operate safely and to minimise the risk.
Social distancing must also revert back to 2 metres as was implemented in March 2020. Gatherings of people will not be allowed and catering facilities will provide a take-away service only.
The sale of prime stock, cull animals, store and breeding stock will continue, however sales of machinery, on-farm dispersal sales and fodder should be conducted online where possible.
Buyers and vendors should contact their local auctioneer for specific measures and requirements in individual livestock marts.
The majority of Cross Compliance rules will continue to apply as in 2020, however the below have been updated to reflect changes in requirements, good practice and clarification:
SMR 8: sheep and goat identification. The link to the Sheep and Goat Identification Guidance for Keepers 2018 has been updated.
SMR 10: restrictions on the use of plant protection products (PPP). The definition of PPP has been clarified. The Good Practice section has been updated. This covers qualifications, application equipment and weather conditions. Additional links to guidance are included. These concern the inspection of equipment and treatment records.
SMR 11: welfare standards for the Protection of Calves. Clarification of requirements concerning tethering, calf pen dimensions and feeding calves. Good Practice clarified regarding feeding milk from TB infected cattle.
SMR 12: welfare standards for the protection of pigs. Clarification of the requirements concerning accommodation, tethering and tail-docking.
SMR 13: welfare standards for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. Updated to clarify what is considered good practice.
GAEC 6: maintenance of soil and organic matter. Requirements for EIA screening clarified. Now including restructuring projects on all rural landholdings, including Common Land.
GAEC 7: landscape features. Requirement to retain all ponds clarified to prevent the drainage/filling-in of part of a pond. Definition of Landscape Features expanded to include Environmentally Sensitive Permanent Grassland (ESPG).
For more information visit https://gov.wales/cross-compliance-2021