HEXHAM and Northern Marts are taking precautions while trying to provide a key service to Tynedale’s farming community.

Last Friday’s store cattle and sheep sale went ahead albeit it in a restricted format, but Tuesday’s scheduled primestock sale was cancelled.

As it stands, this coming Friday’s store cattle and sheep event will go ahead, however a number of other upcoming sales have already been cancelled.

All primestock sales on Tuesdays have been cancelled until the beginning of May, as has the fur and feather sale planned for Saturday, April 4.

Managing director at the mart, Robert Addison, said that there was a constant dialogue ongoing between the mart and its partners about the potential risks of coronavirus, and all eventualities were being explored.

He continued to say: “We are looking at every eventuality for both buyers and sellers, and we are going to look after our staff.

“There’s going to be arguments for lots of proposals, but the health and wellbeing of everybody is the most important thing.”

Last Friday’s store cattle and sheep sale went ahead but it was only open to vendors, purchasers, hauliers and staff, and the recommended social distancing measures of two metres was adhered to.

Members of the public were barred from attending.

Speaking after the sale, auctioneer Jack Walton, said: “People had to be two metres apart and we advised there was no children, no over 70s or people with underlying health problems could attend. We are following government guidelines and taking it day by day. We don’t know what’s ahead or how long it’s going to last.”