SHEEP and cattle numbers at Dublin are expected to dip significantly, with the selling exchange limiting buyer numbers and suspending the regular calf market until further notice in an effort to comply with social distancing measures.
Stakeholders have been in ongoing discussions about the best methods to abide by social distancing without cancelling the weekly market altogether.
Saleyard manager Andrew Lepley said stakeholders had compiled and examined a long list of buyers from previous sales and compiled a list of essential buyers who will be given access to Tuesday's sale.
"We've got a list of buyers for our sheep and lambs and for our cattle," he said.
"Those people that are on the list will be allowed access and others won't be.
"On the sheep and lamb list there is 18 names and on the cattle list there is 19 names. Those are the only people who will be allowed in the buyers gallery."
Carriers, essential agents and yard workers will be allowed to attend the sale but won't be allowed into the same vicinity as buyers. Vendors will asked to return home after delivering their stock to the saleyards.
Due to the restricted buying gallery, agents have been advised of the types of stock, lambs in particular, they should send in and the types to leave in the paddock.
"It has been a difficult task in trying to identify who's a genuine buyer and who's not a buyer," Mr Lepley said.
"I'd say our lamb numbers will probably halve at least and our cattle numbers may even halve as well.
"I'd expect us to yard about 5000 lambs, 2000 sheep and 350 to 400 cattle. About half of what we yarded this Tuesday."
The calf market, also regularly held on Tuesdays, will be suspended until a later date.
"We're going to suspend the calf market because that tends to be where a lot of people congregate trying to buy calves," Mr Lepley said.
"The easiest way to deal with that potential issue was to suspend it until further notice."
The decision came as federal Agriculture minister David Littleproud confirmed today that livestock saleyards and wool auctions were able to continue operating.
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.