2016-09-07   facebooktwitterrss

Teeth, Testicles and more at Europe's Biggest Ram Sale

One of the unique aspects of Europe’s biggest ram sale, to be held at the Royal Welsh Showground on Monday 19 September 2016, is the high standard of quality control.

The Wales & Border Ram Sales Committee have a dedicated team of forty plus especially trained inspectors, headed by Painscastle farmer, Richard Price. It’s their job to check teeth, testicles and to generally look out for any faults or health issues that mean a ram may fall below the high standard clients expect.

Richard Price (left) at a pre sale meeting of the Wales & Borders Ram Sales Committee

Richard Price (left) at a pre sale meeting of the Wales & Borders Ram Sales Committee

Official administrator, Richard Price, says each ring has at least two inspectors, with some of the bigger rings having four or five. The ratio has to be right to allow the physical handling of each ram in a relatively short period and to allow time for any follow up decision by the senior inspectors or by the vets.

He says:
“We look at the teeth first to make sure they are not overshot and then at any lumps on the testicles and check that they are of the right size and are of equal size – it’s no good having one big and one very small.

“We have a bit of hassle sometimes – the sheep are one thing but some of the vendors can be quite another! We try to keep a sense of humour all round and most people accept that the standards are there for everyone’s benefit.

“It gives the buyer confidence to buy without having to inspect the rams themselves although many do. We give the inspectors full authority but there is always a senior inspector to refer to, or a vet if there are any testicle or respiratory problems.

“Nothing is a slight on the owner because a lot of these things can develop on the way to the sale. But we are trying to keep a high standard, mainly teeth and testicles, because this is what the sale is renowned for, for the benefit of everyone.”

Mr Price added that some breed societies do their own inspections, but may also ask the sale’s own inspectors to apply their rigorously high standards. The inspectors also look for lumps on the legs and for the boils on the jaw that indicate the highly contagious Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA).

Fewer problems are found year on year, as the vendors look more closely for problems before the sale, knowing the standards required of them.

NSA Ram Sales

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