24 May 2002

Breeding sales resume at last

BREEDING sheep sales resumed this week, but it has been a struggle to get vendors to the market because they require a licence to move sheep.

In the areas hit hardest by foot-and-mouth disease there has been a growing need to shift ewes and lambs from overstocked farms to those units looking to restock after F&M.

Hawes Market in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales was quick to gain approval to hold its first live sale of ewes and lambs on Tuesday (May 21) but market manager Maurice Hall was unsure about how many vendors would get a licence from trading standards in time.

"We did not really have time to advertise the sale, but we are going to go ahead and get it started. I am not sure how many will turn up. There has been some confusion and difficulty getting licences.

"The sale will run weekly after this one until we get rid of the backlog of ewes with lambs at foot to sell."

He expected a fairly lively trade, with the best ewes and lambs making £45-50, but with many Swaledale ewes on offer, he reckons the average will be lower. Broken-mouth Swales are likely to trade about £30 a head. &#42