Livestock markets go the extra mile for producers in TB-restricted areas

11th May 2011

Several West Country livestock auctioneering business are going the extra mile to help producers in TB-affected areas get the best possible market prices for their animals, in spite of the movement restrictions.

They are organising special TB Dedicated sales that allow vendors to take clear-testing store and dairy cattle from herds that are under TB2 restrictions through the live auction sale ring.

All the cattle sold in these sales must be taken to approved finishing units, approved quarantine units, TB holdings under restriction, or directly to slaughter. And they are already proving to be quite a success.

Kivells of Holsworthy, which operates three livestock markets in Devon and Cornwall and is one of the markets leading the way with the dedicated TB restricted sales, saw the top 10 animals achieving prices of more than £1,000 each at one of their sales in February.

The sales follow an approach made by the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) to Animal Health last year to discuss the possibility of providing the beleaguered TB-affected farmers with an opportunity to sell their livestock that had been tested clear of the disease "in a more normal fashion" and to enable a more realistic market price to be achieved.

"We were concerned about the potential welfare problems on restricted farms where producers were seeing herd numbers increase inexorably because they could not move calves and store cattle off their premises very easily," explained LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds.

"Fortunately, Animal Health officials understood the difficulties these farmers faced and worked hard with us to set up a system that would allow these restricted farmers to take their animals to a market and to sell them without increasing the risk of any disease spread," he said.

To be sold at a dedicated sale, cattle - with the exception of calves under 42 days of age - must have tested clear for TB within the preceding 60 days of the event and they must not be reactors, or inconclusive reactors.

The LAA is calling on more markets in the country's TB-restricted areas to follow the example set by Kivells, whose principle livestock auctioneer and partner David Kivell said recently: "For far too long farmers whose farms are under TB restrictions have not been able to benefit from the bonus points that only a livestock auction brings."

Ends

For further information please contact:

Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary, Livestock Auctioneers Association
01697 475 433 / 07885 731 502
[email protected]

Alastair Sneddon, Chairman, Livestock Auctioneers Association
01629 812777 / 0797 398 2441
[email protected]

Notes to editors:
The Livestock Auctioneers' Association is the national organisation representing auctioneering firms which occupy and run the livestock auction markets of England and Wales. Its members handle the vast majority of all auction sales of farm livestock. The Association is also supported by representatives of the Institute of Appraisers and Auctioneers in Scotland.