Livestock made a welcome return to the pens at Skipton Auction Mart yesterday (Monday), as the mart was given the go-ahead from midnight on Wednesday last week to resume trading as a collection centre and stage slaughter-only markets.

The next two Monday markets will see slaughter-only markets for prime cattle and sheep taking place. Following the announcement of the official easing of restrictions likely to be on September 8, the aim will then be to run normal Monday cattle, sheep and calves sales after this date, along with other regular shows and sales.

In addition dairy auctions will take place each Monday from September 10 as the mart bids to make up lost ground. The September 1 the Agri-Trader Auction and show and sale of poultry and waterfowl will go ahead as planned, however, the annual show of rare, minority and native breed animals, which normally takes place on the same date, will be arranged for a later date.

Special arrangements are also being put in place for Tuesday September 11, the annual show and sale of gimmer lambs on behalf of the North of England Mule sheep Association. This will now be proceeded by a show and sale of shearlings, enabling prospective mule gimmer lamb purchasers to sell shearlings beforehand. Up to 9000 sheep are expected to pass through Skipton on that day.

Vendors of shearling sheep will have a second chance on Tuesday September 18 to sell their stock at the scheduled annual show and sale of shearling gimmers.

Before that on Wednesday 12 September, up to 1000 cattle are due at the mart for the annual sale of store cattle, suckler breeding cattle and yound bulls, to be followed on Thursday September 13, by the re-arranged annual sale of pedigree Beltex sheep to be complemented by an additional store lamb sale.