Dept. of Agriculture says livestock sales must continue online

The Department of Agriculture says livestock sales will have to continue as an online-only operation -- despite the collapse of one of the main apps earlier this weekend.

Sales were delayed for around two hours in more than half the marts in the country on Saturday due to a server glitch -- with four shutting up shop for the whole day.

Farm unions and mart owners called for restrictions to be eased

But the department says the ban on bidders coming to the sales ring is "absolutely necessary" to stop the spread of Covid-19 in rural communities.

Eimear McGuinness, chair of the Mart Managers' Association, doesn't believe those who've drawn up the rules understand the livestock trade.