31 August 2001

Isle of Man relaxes F&M restrictions

AGRICULTURE has been on red alert on the Isle of Man since the foot-and-mouth outbreak in the UK, with the Islands authorities desperately trying to stop it spreading from the mainland.

But some rules are being relaxed by the Crown Dependencys Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Manx farmers are now allowed to hold on-farm and mart sales.

Other restrictions are still in place though. There will still be a 21-day freeze on animal movement after sale and markets can only be held every three weeks.

One of the Islands and UKs leading Texel flocks, Ballaglonney Texels, owned by the Creers, had no option this year but to abandon their planned sale campaign at Carlisle, Chelford, Builth Wells and Lanark and sell all their tups on the Isle of Man.

Auctioneer Keith Kerruish of Chrystals sold 80 shearling tups, levelling trade at £375. Top price was £800 from a Ballaglonney Bonus son.

The family also breed Mule shearling ewes and Texel cross Mule ewes. These made slightly less than last years offering, although Mule shearlings hit a top price of £76 and Texel cross Mule ewes at £78. (Chrystals.) &#42