Yesterday saw one of the most successful show-winning herds of Holstein and Jersey cattle dispersed at Bristol Sale Centre. But in a change to proceedings, three animals were missing from Shropshire-based Michael and Oliver Eaton’s Smiddiehill sale.

Smiddiehill Paratrooper, Smiddiehill Perfect and Smiddiehill Dundee Paradise, the sons and daughter of a cloned cow from the USA which attracted media interest last January, were withdrawn after again being the focus of newspaper attention.

Auctioneer Tom Brooksbank of Norton and Brooksbank told Farmers Weekly the reporting in several newspapers, including the Daily Mail, had been inaccurate and misleading and had led the vendors to feel it was better not to offer the cattle for sale. “There had been talk of protests and animal welfare groups attending the sale, so my phone was red-hot the day before, fending people off as the animals were no longer forward.

“This was a dispersal of one of the greatest herds in history with some fantastic pedigrees, but the scaremongering from certain national press reporters had detracted from that,” added Mr Brooksbank.

The sale itself attracted buyers from all over the country and topped at 50,000gns for a six-month-old Holstein calf.

  • For more details and pictures from the Smiddiehill dispersal go to Taking Stock.