By FWi staff

PRIMESTOCK shows are the latest casualties of the foot-and-mouth crisis, forcing markets to search for alternatives to fill their festive calendar.

In the run up to Christmas each year, primestock shows enable farmers to show off their best cattle, turkeys, chickens, geese and pigs.

But the cancellation of many this year has left a huge gap in farmers social and sales diaries and butchers window displays.

Primestock society chairman Graham Clay has instead organised a seasonal competition for traditional Lincolnshire sausages and pork pies, to be held on Dec 6.

Mr Clay, an auctioneer at Stamford-based Scorer, Clay and Richardson, reckons it will be a superb opportunity for the regions butchers to promote “the exceptional quality” of local food.

Penrith Farmers & Kidds has followed a similar theme, and joined forces with Cumbrian Fellbred to offer an “on the hook” Christmas primestock show.

Entries will be judged on Dec 7, and an auction will take place on Dec 10 at Blackpool Abattoir.

The event will be about as close to a primestock show as producers can get this year and will give local butchers and wholesalers the chance to buy top quality local beef and lamb carcasses, says PFK auctioneer Chris Dodds.