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ITBA COVID -19 Update 24th March 2020

ITBA COVID-19 Update 24th March 2020
ITBA COVID -19 Update 24th March 2020

Dear Breeders,

We hope you are all keeping well during these unprecedented times. As the numbers of cases from Covid-19 continue to increase it is now more important than ever to adhere to Government guidelines. All breeders must continue to remain vigilant and brief staff and clients of any updates as they arise, failure to comply with the guidelines could result in restrictions being imposed on the breeding industry.

The ITBA is in regular contact with the Department of Agriculture, who want business to continue as normal and is aware that in the unlikely event of a lockdown, the transport of breeding stock is an essential service and therefore will not be restricted throughout the island of Ireland. I know some of you have concerns about your livelihood but our advice is to carry on with business as usual.

In addition to following the government guidelines on www.hse.ie we have put together a number of suggestions to assist breeders:

Managing Staff

· Always have good hygiene practice and consider how you can minimise contact between staff and have them keep the advised distance of 2 metres.

· Minimise the number of immediate contacts each member of staff, including yourself, has in one day.

· Can you split your staff into teams and make sure the intermingling of members of each team is reduced?

· Can you eliminate face to face meetings?

· Identify staff roles that can work from home.

· Ask staff to avoid congregating in areas around the workplace.

· Increase the time allocated for cleaning common areas and facilities.

Isolation in a Farming Context

· Limit your contact with people other than family members.

· Avoid having visitors to your home but it is ok for friends or delivery drivers to drop off supplies if you don’t come in contact with them.

· You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, towels etc with any other people on your stud farm.

Restriction to Property Access

· You need to implement strict yet practical requirements for outside entities accessing your stud farm.

· There should be no entry for non- essential visitors.

· You may consider putting up signage for visitors.

· Limit exposure of outside service providers such as vets and farriers to internal staff.

· Ensure outside service providers are compliant with the necessary protocols.

· When bringing a mare to stud ensure you are aware of the protocols in the stud farm prior to departure and adhere to same.

Self Care

· It is normal to feel stressed or anxious in these situations. The thoroughbred industry is known for being a close knit community and now is the time to support each other more than ever.

· Phone your friends and neighbours to ensure they are coping well.

· Rather than add to the rising panic of the situation talk about practical solutions and stay positive.

We are always here in the background ensuring that you can continue with your job. We will continue to advise you regarding the ever-evolving situation unfolding with COVID-19 but should you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ITBA on 045 877543 and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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