Tomorrow’s Farmers Weekly will include a Talking Point from former NFU officeholder Paul Temple suggesting that livestock should no longer travel to livestock markets.

His argument is that in the days of the internet and online video etc… there should be no need to transport stock to markets as videos of them would be sufficient.

Having managed a number of succesful photographic sales in Devon in 2001 when we couldn’t move stock due to movement restrictions I know where I stand on this one. Sure videos and photos give an idea of what a beast is like, but its never the same as seeing or handling them.

When we ran sales in 2001 more than 95% of the eventual purchasers had visited the farms to see the stock before the sales. And understandably so, after all when it comes to store and breeding stock seeing really is believing, I certainly don’t fancy buying tups without getting hold of their mouths and other vital components, let alone not seeing them walk freely.

That said I do believe there is a place for video and other technologies in pre-sale promotion work. A number of our clients have used videos very successfully on their own websites to show stock prior to sale and we do the same with photos ourselves.

It all helps get people interested in your stock prior to the sale, but I can categorically say none of the eventual buyers of these animals would have bought them solely on the video or photograph.

To read what Paul Temple has to say and comment on it click here