Recommendations for Livestock Sales During COVID-19

Ashley McFarland, Area Livestock Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: July 31, 2020

Last Updated: March 24, 2020

For Those Hosting Sales

  • restrict general public access
  • limit attendance to a maximum of current local, state, and federal guidelines
  • consider online photos and videos as an alternative to in-person viewing
  • make animals available for viewing by only "small" groups prior to the sale
  • do not shake hands, and maintain a social distance of at least 6-feet
  • restrict access to "pets" that could be coughed on and touched by multiple hands
  • make online, or phone bidding available where possible
  • provide information to employees on COVID-19
  • provide hand sanitizer in common areas
  • provide space for hand washing
  • consider not providing food, if food is provided, consider individual packages and serving to avoid surfaces being touched by multiple hands
  • frequently sanitize workstations and eating areas, including special attention to telephones, computer keyboards, calculators, desks, photocopiers, counters and common areas shared by more than one person on a regular basis.
  • avoid check-out/payment line congestion areas

For Those Purchasing Livestock and Attending Sales

  • where possible only view animals in "small" groups ahead of the sale
  • consider online photos and video as an alternative to in-person viewing
  • utilize sale manager, auctioneer, ringmen and consultants to help with purchase
  • allow only one person per farm operation to attend
  • do not attend sales without a serious intent to purchase
  • do not attend a sale if you are sick (even mild symptoms), or have been exposed to anyone sick, and/or positive for COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks. 
  • do not shake hands, maintain at least 6-feet social distance
  • do not take your dog/cat that could be coughed on and touched by multiple hands
  • consider online bidding, sign up for online platforms ahead of time
  • consider phone bidding, call ahead to make arrangements with sales staff
  • avoid check-out/payment line congestion areas
  • wash hands thoroughly and frequently

This is not an exhaustive list, and businesses should stay up-to-date on their local, state, and the federal government recommendations and requirements. By working together, with good preparation, we can keep our families, customers and employees safe, while also providing stability within the U.S. beef supply chain.

This document was originally developed by the Livestock Markets Association of Canada, Canadian Beef Breeds Council and Canadian Cattlemen's Association, and then adapted and approved by the Indiana Board of Animal Health, Purdue Veterinary Medicine, Purdue Animal Science, and the Indiana Beef Cattle Association.

Find this content at

COVID-19 Livestock Sale Recommendations (pdf; 131KB)









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