27 July 2001

Catalogue launch for Suffolks

By James Garner

THE Suffolk sheep society has launched its catalogue of breeding stock for sale this year.

The register of 20,000 entries, over half made up of rams, is available on the breeds web-site (www.suffolksheep.org.uk) and through its publication "Profit from Suffolk".

The breed is also looking to highlight its "safe sex" credentials as the National Scrapie Plan, to promote the use of scrapie resistant tups, gets under way across the country (see Livestock).

Meanwhile, a video sale of Suffolk rams is being organised by Aberdeen and Northern Marts at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Aug 3.

It will replace the auctioneers annual Suffolk ram sale held on this date.

All tups entered for the event will be inspected by a vet to check they are fit for sale and filmed on farm by the marts pedigree sales manager Colin Slessor.

Buyers can preview the stock on offer by visiting the ANMs web-site (www.goanm.co.uk) or by buying a CD-Rom of the video.

Mr Slessor says: "We felt it was important to proceed with a video sale, rather than waiting for live sales to re-commence in September (in Scotland) because many buyers require rams now to keep their lambing programme on schedule."

He claims the on-farm vet inspections, and the success of ANMs other video cattle auctions, will give buyers the confidence to bid.

National audience

The sale is expected to attract a national audience with buyers being able to bid from home as well as from ringside at Thainstone.

Malton Livestock Auctioneers is planning to hold two video sheep sales to replace its traditional August and Michaelmas fixtures, but movement restrictions and technical difficulties are proving troublesome.

"We normally sell 6000-7000 sheep at the August sale but at the moment only movements to slaughter are going ahead in the North Yorks area," says auctioneer, Charlie Breese.

"We may have to cancel the August sale but we are still aiming to go ahead in October as there are usually entries of 12,000-15,000 head and many farmers desperately need to sell their sheep.

"But the logistics of video-taping all the entries and putting a film together is proving a nightmare," he says. &#42