Skipton Auction Mart’s decision to take up the DEFRA option
of becoming part of the Bluetongue surveillance zone for trading
purposes paid off handsomely for Bishop Thornton, near Harrogate,
farmers M Baul and Partners when they landed a debut April Craven
Dairy Auction championship success. (Mon, Apr 21)
Peter Baul, centre, is congratulated by Craven Dairy Auction sponsor
Frank Chute, with judge Colin Whitelock appraising the April champion.
Before the move, the Bauls, of Watergate Farm, which falls within
the surveillance zone, would have been prevented from trading at
Skipton as the mart is in a clear area less than 6kms outside the
It now means that previously excluded stock from Nidderdale and
West Yorkshire, including Calderdale and Kirklees, can again be
sold at Skipton alongside clear area livestock, as the mart makes
a concerted effort to boost both entry numbers and choice.
The Craven Dairy Auction champion, a newly-calven heifer giving
five gallons, is a product of the Bauls’ Ravensgate pedigree
Holstein Friesian herd, being by the Genus bull Roylane Jordan,
out of a home-bred cow.
Awarded the BOCM Pauls Diary Cup, the victor sold for £1,500
to Calderdale buyer Ian Dodson, of Ripponden, who also received
a £60 cash bonus as buyer of the title-winner from Farmers & Mercantile
Mr Dodson, who is restocking his commercial dairy herd, bought
a total of six milkers at Skipton. His other acquisitions included
the first prize newly-calven cow at £1,280 from Robert Crisp,
of Calton, Skipton, and a newly-calven heifer from Raymond and
Robert Johnson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate, at £1,900 – top
price of the day.
Maiden heifers sold to a top price of £660, this entry from
GR Bretherton, of Houghton, Preston, bought by Stephen Abbott,
of Dacre, Harrogate.
Judge was Colin Whitelock, of Gargrave, with the show attracting
a local sponsor in Frank Chute, of IMS (Industrial Maintenance
Solutions), based in Embsay, who is also regional agent for Quattro.
The next Craven Dairy Auction takes place on Monday, May 19.
Explaining the decision to become part of the surveillance zone,
Jeremy Eaton, general manager at Skipton Auction Mart, said: “The
alteration to the Bluetongue boundary last month impacted strongly
on nearby areas from which we could receive stock, notably Nidderdale,
West Yorkshire and Calderdale.
“This resulted in a significant decrease in livestock passing
through our rings, with store cattle and feeding bull entries halved.
In particular, we have experienced a 74% reduction in the number
of cull cows.
“As a direct result, it has become difficult to maintain
the interest of buyers who need both choice and numbers to make
“After careful consideration, the Board at Skipton decided
that the most important issue is to maintain the number of buyers
at the ringside to ensure that a strong and healthy demand persists
until the time when the Bluetongue status of the whole region – or
the country – changes.
“To assist with this, DEFRA is now offering markets and abattoirs
within 8km of the surveillance zone the option of becoming part
of the zone and operating under these conditions. Safe in the knowledge
that there should be no requirement to take home stock unsold if
sufficient buyers are in attendance, the Board has decided to take
up the DEFRA option.
“The only drawback is the non-return home of unsold stock
coming from a clear area farm. However, the Board hopes that, on
balance, the advantage of running sales with sufficient entries
to bring in buyers outweighs the disadvantages of the return home
of clear stock in the unlikely event that it is unsold.
“We need to ensure that we retain as many buyers as possible
for the future and give as many of our customers as possible the
chance to continue to trade through the market – in the hope
that a more equitable solution to the control of the spread of
Bluetongue is devised.”
Skipton Mart Championship Brace for Fawcetts
British Blue Back-to-Back Skipton Young Bulls Success
Robert Phillip Five-Timer at Craven Dairy Auction