By FWi staff

A MAJOR Internet-based livestock auction system will be launched in about three weeks time by Exmoor-based Shearwell Data.

Richard Webber, the companys managing director, believes auctions are the most effective way of determining market price, but traditional live markets are not possible while foot-and-mouth restrictions exist.

Shearwell is also to set up a national livestock management database, which can run on mutual lines.

Sellers will be offered the option of running their on-line sale themselves by hiring the software, but Mr Webber reckons most will prefer to use an agent.

Whoever runs the sales will be able to offer a full service including licences and arranging transport, thanks to the back-up programmes available through the national database.