28 June 2002

Confusion hits top tup event

THE threat of a 20-day standstill hit both vendors and buyers at the recent Sheep Improvement Group (SIG) ram sale at Lloyd Maunders base at Willand, Devon where entries were cut from 120 to 70 and sale clearance fell from an expected 60% to 50%.

According to organiser and SIG chairman David Disney the event was fraught with last-minute complications over movement regulations. "Our original understanding was rams coming out of isolation and being shown here wouldnt invoke the 20-day standstill when they went back into isolation after the sale.

"With the uncertainty, many vendors and prospective buyers who had prime lambs to sell through the live market back at home couldnt run the risk of being shut down and that certainly affected trade."

Although numbers and sales were down, the event still allowed some flock owners to buy in indexed rams at fixed values relating to performance data such as Estimated Breeding Values. Values ranged from £225 to £475.

"It should have been a prestigious day selling top index rams from breed members. Sadly, I can only qualify it as a reasonable sale for those who were able to attend," adds Mr Disney. &#42