Organisers of Europe’s biggest ram sale, the NSA Wales & Borders,
held at the Royal Welsh Showground say it has been postponed and
NOT cancelled. There are plans to hold a smaller sale next month.
Champion Texel at the 2006 sale
Chairman George Hughes says that despite the severity of the impact
of the foot and mouth shutdown on the livestock industry, there
is still time to put tups out with the ewes. And he and his committee
are working on plans for a scaled down version of the event, probably
to be held in the permanent buildings at the showground.
"There is still time", says George Hughes. "If
you bought rams now and turned them out you would have lambs in
mid February and in a month’s time it would be mid March.
For mid March born lambs, the grass would hopefully be available
and it could save on feeding costs. It’s what a lot of people
"It’s all in the hands of the Government now. The point
is that we are ready to be quick off the mark as soon as we get
the go ahead. Everything is in place. We have the sheep catalogued
and all our plans already.
"We’ll give priority to the shearlings as they will
take up most of the space available and then about a week later
we will have another sale for the ram lambs.
"We don’t think virtual auctions would suit our sale
in terms of the number involved it would be a logistical nightmare.
And our customers like to take a good look at the sheep we offer
for sale. Thinking about the numbers we have and getting a true
picture, I can’t see it being as satisfactory way of buying
sheep even in these difficult times."
The NSA Wales and Borders Ram Sale traditionally has a turnover
of nearly two million pounds and is a huge economic driver in an
area of rural Wales which suffers from low unemployment. Seven
and a half thousand sheep had been offered for sale for this year’s
event, which should have been held on 24 September.
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