LIVESTOCK auctions marts in Cumbria will continue to trade but under tighter measures following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a four-week national lockdown to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Marts in England and Wales, including the county's marts, will remain open in line with updated guidance, the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) confirmed, after discussions with Defra this week.

Tighter measures include the re-introduction of the ‘drop and go’ policy where possible, attendance at marts restricted to those conducting business and only one representative per business will be allowed to enter the site.

LAA chief executive Chris Dodds said: “Livestock auction markets have been acknowledged as essential and critical businesses in the food supply chain.

“However, we have a responsibility to conduct our sales in a way that minimises the risk to both clients and staff of contracting Covid-19.”

Mr Dodds encouraged buyers and vendors to liaise with their local auctioneer to check the specific safety protocols implemented at local marts.“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their support over the past six months and beyond. With your understanding and vigilance, we look forward to continuing to offer all livestock sales through our markets.”

Sales of machinery, poultry, fur and feather, furniture will be postponed or cancelled and market canteens will offer a takeaway service,

For auction marts in Scotland, which were operating under stricter measures compared to England and Wales, there are no plans to change the rules in place.