2013-06-10   facebook twitter rss

Show Director’s Firm Stance Against “Tampering”

Organisers of one of the UK’s leading agricultural shows have called on exhibitors and Breed Societies to help stamp out tampering with animals for the judging rings, and outlaw the cheats.

Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show has described practices such as tampering to enhance cow udders as “heinous” and “despicable”.

Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show

Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show

He said: “For a number of years here at the Great Yorkshire we have carried out random scanning, we’ve never had cause to suspect anyone but no one is any doubt as to how serious we regard this. Should we ever find an animal had been tampered with for the judging ring, the owner would be instantly told to take no further part in our competitions and any prize money would be forfeited? We’ve never had cause to invoke this but we are not afraid to take firm action. Indeed in the past we have banned exhibitors for misdemeanors.”

“We believe we are the only agricultural show in the UK to undertake scanning. It would be a great step forward if all shows could do the same but to be even more effective, the support of other exhibitors and also the Breed Societies to report anything suspicious is needed. Our industry is too precious to be under-minded by cheats whose intention is to win at any cost, and with no concern for animal welfare,” added Mr Cowling.

Each year the Great Yorkshire Show attracts around 1,000 cattle entries, to what is widely regarded as England’s premier agricultural show and a prestigious shop window for the industry. Entries are currently being processed, and there is already a waiting list for stalls in the cattle section. Numbers currently stand at 1,048 with record numbers in the Highland section. The prestigious Burke Dairy Trophy will again be awarded, along with the trophies for the Blythewood Beef and Dairy pairs.

Sheep entries total 2,042, just slightly fewer than the all-time record of 2,085, which is one of the highest numbers at any show in the UK. The section will have a superb entry of rare breeds with everything from Boreray (which is on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s critical list), to North Ronaldsay and Manx Loaghton. Pig entries are still coming in, but new for this year is the BPA Young Pig of the Year Final, which is in addition to the BPA Pig of the Year. The final of this national competition has taken place at the Great Yorkshire for many years.

Young exhibitors will again be competing in the Young Handler classes where they have to prepare their animals and then present them for the judges’ scrutiny in show rings. “It’s vital that we encourage these young people as they are the competitors and championship winners of the future,” said Mr Cowling.

Great Yorkshire Show

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