The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland has agreed further changes to its COVID19 guidelines as Scotland moved beyond Level 0 on 9th August 2021. As a number of national restrictions were eased the guidelines issued to Scotland’s livestock auctioneers have also seen significant changes which will make attendance easier for all of our customers.
The full guidance is available at the bottom of this post. While restrictions have eased there are still some key regulations and legal requirements that customers and staff must follow when attending the mart:
- Face coverings remain a mandatory requirement in all indoor spaces, including all enclosed areas of auction markets. Please respect this requirement and wear a face covering throughout indoor areas of the market unless you are exempt.
- Test and Protect (contact tracing) remains in operation, so please continue to provide markets with contact details when booking in and attending.
Individual auction mart operators may insist on tighter rules and guidance on their particular sites. Any additional measures are put in place for the protection of everyone involved and we ask that customers respect these to ensure our members can remain operation and continue to provide the critical live auction service for the industry.
Thank you to all market staff, customers and hauliers for working together to ensure auction markets are a safe place to conduct business. This hard work has contributed to auction markets playing a critical role in ensuring buyers have efficient access to livestock to meet their requirements and that sellers have a transparent, competitive price discovery live selling system which has ensured livestock has achieved some of the best prices seen for a generation. Finally, thank you to everyone who supports the best livestock marketing system around.
IAAS COVID-19 Guidance
Updated on 12th August 2021 to reflect recent changes in advice and responsibilities for enforcement and monitoring of auction marts following the most recent guidance from Scottish Government.
At IAAS our members agree that our number one priority is to protect public health. This means reducing the spread and infection rate of COVID-19 and helping to manage our vital NHS resources. Our second priority is to ensure we continue to play our part as key workers in the food supply chain.
This document continues to offer the operational framework to aid market operators with their decision making to limit exposure to COVID-19 through marts whilst ensuring the livestock trade continues in a measurable and safe manner.
Our members operate marts of different shapes and sizes as well as operating in different Local Authority areas. Some Local Authorities may implement tighter guidelines depending on the Level for that area.
Following ongoing consultation with the Scottish Government, the guidance and recommendations for continued mart operation for all classes of permitted sale is as follows:
- Face coverings will remain mandatory in all enclosed areas of markets, although there are exceptions and exemptions especially for those who are not able to wear a face covering for specific medical reasons. The wearing of face coverings is also encouraged in outdoor settings where people may be in close contact.
- People responsible for relevant premises should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law so if you are an owner of the business/employer, you should consider if any of your buildings are an indoor environment and assist users of that space to be aware of their obligation to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies.
- Exemptions include where measures have been taken to ensure the legally required separation in that area of the workplace, or when a person is undertaking tasks in the course of their employment, where the wearing of a face covering would cause a material risk of harm, such as handling large, unpredictable livestock.
- Face coverings must be worn in staff and public canteens, except when seated at a table or eating and drinking.
- Anyone entering communal workspaces must wear a face covering, this includes corridors, canteens and lifts.
- A face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
- This is now a legal requirement and the appropriate legislation can be found here: : https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/325/contents/made.
Test and Protect
- Under certain circumstances, the NHS are asking people to self-isolate for 10 days if they have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed by testing to have the virus.
- This is part of Test and Protect – Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy. You can find out more about Test and Protect here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect/
- Auction marts will collect contact information from all visitors to marts to assist with contact tracing, in line with Scottish Government Guidance issued for the tourism and hospitality sector. A copy of the guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/pages/collecting-customer-contact-details/
- Additional guidance on data protection can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protection-and-coronavirus-information-hub/contact-tracing-protecting-customer-and-visitor-details/.
- IAAS and the Scottish Government also encourage all staff and visitors to marts to download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app for your smartphone. This is available on the Google Play Store or on the Apple App Store.
- Protect Scotland is an entirely voluntary app that is an additional part of NHS Scotland’s Test & Protect service. The app complements but does not replace manual contact tracing. It enhances contact tracing and quickly alerts app users that are at risk as they have come into close contact (less than 2m for 15 minutes or more) with an app user that has since tested positive for Covid-19. Further information about the contact tracing app for employers, workers and customers is available.
- Anyone displaying any COVID19 symptoms or are isolating in line with the 10 day period requirement (COVID19 Symptoms Self Help Guide) MUST not attend any sales.
- Anyone who has been in contact with a COVID19 case either knowingly or have been informed through Contact Tracing should be isolating for the prescribed period and should not attend sales during that time unless they are exempt from isolating. Anyone who is double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.
- Those wishing to attend are encouraged to read Scottish Government health advice in the first instance (NHS Inform Higher Risk Groups). If the individual still wishes to attend a sale, they do so at their own risk.
- Anyone displaying any illness or symptoms of any illness or has any underlying health problem should consider whether it is appropriate to attend market.
- General public, trade and others not directly involved in sales may only attend with prior permission of the market operator.
- All classes of sale and show are permitted subject to appropriate licensing.
Delivering livestock to auction marts
- Please check booking in arrangements with local auction mart operator prior to attending.
- Deliveries made to marts as normal via livestock trailers/hauliers.
- Hauliers/farmers to unload livestock into pen beside loading bay.
- It is recommended that hand washing/sanitising facilities are available at loading bays.
- Vendors should be reminded they must cleanse and disinfect their vehicles before transporting any other animals and in any case within 24 hours of the journey.
- Vendors are also reminded that animals should only be presented to markets that have been tested in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements and industry schemes.
- IAAS continues to recommend using a ‘drop and go’ policy for vendors and that attendance at markets is for business purposes only.
- Vendors should pre-register attendance with their stock. This is to ensure compliance with, and support of, the Test and Protect system.
- All buyers should pre-register their attendance at any sale.
- Suitable bio-security measures must be in place and available – hand washing facilities/hand sanitisers/foot dips etc. Buyers must use these on entry and exit.
- Marts may allow buyers to view stock held in the penning area before the sale commences. Best practice guidance is that this viewing should be completed via a controlled one-way system through the penning area.
- Minimising touching of pens and other touch points should be encouraged.
- Hand sanitisers should be provided on entry and exit to viewing area.
- It is also suggested that a specific time is set aside for this viewing period to ensure it can be effectively and properly managed.
- Auction markets are different shapes and sizes and individual operators may have to implement specific procedures with regard to their own circumstances.
- IAAS asks all customer and attendees to respect these procedures and work with operators to keep marts a safe place to conduct business.
Machinery & Implement Sales
- On site machinery sales and farm sales are permitted, with operators required to follow the guidance in place for livestock sales.
- It will be at the operator’s discretion to decide whether on site sales are feasible on their premises.
- Sales with online/telephone/remote bidding are unaffected.
- Viewing days can be arranged in advance of sale day.
- A record should be kept of all visitors to these sites and should include name, address, contact telephone number, time in and time out of the site. If a vehicle is being used to collect a piece of equipment/machinery, the vehicle registration should also be taken. These procedures should be mirrored for on-farm collections/deliveries and operators should ensure this information is collected by themselves or held by the customer/farmer.
- Exchange of required documents should be completed in the safest way possible, preferably by email. If that is not possible then documentation should be exchanged in a safe manner on site. Face coverings should be worn if any of these interactions take place indoors.
- To assist with planning machinery and farm sales, Scottish Government has published Covid-19 events sector guidance and an operational checklist To help decide which actions event organisers take, they need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as they would for other health and safety related hazards.
Mart Cafes & Canteens
- Sectors guidance is at: sector guidance for tourism and hospitality.
- Operators should refer to the latest published guidance from Food Standards Scotland to ensure they operate in a safe manner. This guidance is periodically updated and should be checked on a regular basis.
- Those operating restaurant and takeaway services should consult with their Local Authority for further advice where necessary.
- Test and Protect contact tracing will be required where canteens/cafes are not an integral part of the mart. For those canteens/cafes that are within the mart premises this should already be captured through registration at the front door.
- Operators are reminded of the importance of keeping food and drink away from any animal areas for the protection of animal health and that it is illegal to feed catering waste to animals.
All IAAS members and customers must abide by The Health Protection Regulations that are available at the link above. This covers the legal requirements around the wearing of face coverings, contact tracing and event capacities as well as other general regulations associated with the move beyond Level 0.
IAAS recommend that all members and customers familiarise themselves with these regulations before operating and attending sales or events at markets.
- Marts MUST be thoroughly cleaned down after every sale.
- Operators should review contingency plans on an ongoing basis and always follow HPS’s COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare settings. https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf
Updated on the 12th August to include revised guidance for moving beyond Level 0.
Updated on the 19th July 2021 to include revised guidance reducing distancing to 1m for level zero areas.
Updated on 5th January 2021 to revise guidance around market attendance and restaurant opening following updated guidance from Scottish Government on 4th January 2021.
Updated on 2nd November 2020 to add guidance on the new Scottish Government tiering system, changes in the face covering rules, guidance for hauliers attending marts and contact racing information.
Updated on 16th July 2020 to add guidance on additional sales, vendor access to marts, buyer pre-sale viewing arrangements and recommended health advice.
Updated on 12th June 2020 to add guidance for machinery and implement sales.
Updated on 25th May 2020 to amend guidance around mart cafes opening for takeaway food.
Updated on 12th May 2020 to adjust guidance around Vulnerable People attending marts.
Updated on 21st April 2020 to include the recommencement of breeding sales.