Guidance for Livestock Auction Markets During COVID-19

Covid-19 iaa

March 23, 2020 - COVID-19 is currently circulating in Iowa communities. All Iowa businesses have a responsibility to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is critical that livestock auction markets institute immediate changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their staff, sellers, and buyers.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) strongly recommend that all livestock markets adhere to the following guidance. Critically evaluate each auction to determine whether it needs to be held. If an auction can be postponed, please do so.

If you decide to hold an auction, take the following protective measures:

  • Use technology to host virtual sales. If you lack the ability to host virtual sales, limit the number of buyers present in the sales ring to ensure that buyers maintain at least a 6-foot separation between themselves at all times.
  • Participants should be restricted to actual buyers that have a buyer number.
    • Only buyers with a buyer number should be allowed in the sales ring.
    • If someone has a buyer number and does not give an indication they are intending to buy, they should be asked to leave.
    • No spectators (including family members and farm help) should be allowed at the auction market.
  • Sellers should unload livestock and immediately leave. Sellers should not be allowed to enter the auction building past the unload area.
  • Offer sellers the flexibility to pick up their checks (if they cannot wait for the mail) including delivery or picking up their checks from their vehicle while waiting in the parking lot.
  • Screen all persons entering the auction market grounds (including all staff, sellers, and buyers) by asking if they have a fever or respiratory illness. If anyone indicates that they have been ill or is visibly showing signs of illness (i.e., coughing and sneezing), deny their entry.
  • Close all parts of the auction market that are not directly associated with the sale to prevent people from co-mingling. This includes common seating areas and cafes.
  • Post signage at the auction market instructing all staff, sellers, and buyers to practice social distancing, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Update your website with detailed instructions for sellers and buyers so they understand the expectations prior to your sale.
  • Clean and disinfect any commonly used areas frequently, including restrooms.
  • Restock restrooms with handwashing supplies frequently, including soap and paper towels.
  • Bio-security at all times is critical to protecting the health of the animals and the people who come in contact with them.

All Iowans have a responsibility to mitigate the impact of this public health crisis. If your auction market cannot abide by these measures, please cancel your sales.

* The above statement was issued by IDALS and the IDPH on March 23, 2020.


For questions or concerns, please call the Iowa Auctioneers Association office at 515-262-8323 or email Joan O'Brien
Thank you,

Iowa Auctioneers Association Office