Clones Mart in Co. Monaghan has improved it’s safety features following an incident in June, when a heifer jumped into a rostrum.
A video circulated widely around social media at the time showed a heifer jumping from the sales ring into the rostrum, where three people were standing, including mart staff.
The video showed one of the men acting quickly to open a door at the back of the rostrum to allow the animal to make its way safely out.
In the video, farmers who are gathered around the sales ring can be seen moving up towards the seats to avoid any commotion.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the mart said: “After our animal episode a few weeks back and while it was the first time in 50 plus years for something like this to happen, we wanted to make sure it never happened again.
“So, for the safety of our staff and customers, we raised the rostrum by 12 inches, protected it with a high bar and put a higher bar right around the ring.”
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) provides guidance on safe handling of livestock at markets.
It added that signage should be well located and clear. “A well designed facility enables the calm and ordered movement of cattle,” it stated.
It highlights the main elements of a good layout:
- The railings must be strong and high enough to detect possible jumpers;
- Where possible use curved breeds to move cattle;
- In the crush, aim to have at least 6m of clear vision in front;
- There should be built in refuge points of “safety passes” where a handler or others can shelter or move out of the way if required;
- The entrance and exit points onto public roads must be safe.
“The layout and nature of the mart or lairage has a significant impact on the ease of moving the cattle and hence on the safety of the workers and other persons present,” the HSA stated.