21 December 2001

Axe falls on Ripon mart

RIPON Market is the latest casualty of the foot-and-mouth crisis. After 140 years operating on its present site the market will not reopen when marts are allowed to begin trading again next year.

The site is likely to be sold for housing after shareholders and members voted in favour of redevelopment at a recent meeting.

The market had a weekly throughput of 190 cattle, 550 pigs and 800 sheep last year. But revenue fell this year after F&M forced it to shut.

Chairman of Ripon Farmers Livestock Market, farmer Hugh Greensit, expressed his concern over future throughputs because stock number have been hit hard in North Yorks.

There was also concern over future biosecurity regulations. "I think we would have had to put up a new perimeter fence, but we didnt know what else will be required. It was very difficult to plan.

"Some members of government would like to see markets disappear, but they dont fully understand their role. It is a very open, very visible pricing system and farmers need it to help them set values for their stock.

"There will be fewer markets when they reopen, but I do hope livestock farmers will support them well." &#42