15 March 2001
Market threatens to sue Brown

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

AUCTIONEERS may take legal action against agriculture minister Nick Brown after he blamed their livestock market for spreading foot-and-mouth.

Welshpool was one of two markets named by Mr Brown during a Press briefing on Wednesday (14 March) as possible hubs for the spread of the disease.

John Jones, a senior partner for Welshpool Livestock Sales, told FARMERS WEEKLY that the business had been damaged by linking it to the disease.

Welshpool is the biggest weekly sheep auction in Europe. Cases of foot-and-mouth have been confirmed in nearby mid-Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire.

But Mr Jones insisted that the one Cheshire farmer with a confirmed case of foot-and-mouth had not had contact with the market since October.

He is taking legal advice after Mr Brown said he wanted to trace and slaughter sheep sold at Welshpool and Northampton marts last month.

Meanwhile, all stock on the nearby farm that sent infected sheep to Hamer Internationals abattoir at Llanidloes have been killed.

Burning is under way of the carcasses of the sick animals and over 1000 others that were in the lairage when the delivery was made.

A company spokesman said the plant was being disinfected under veterinary supervision so licensed slaughtering could restart as soon as possible.

MAFF silent on foot-and-mouth dealers, FWi, 15 March, 2001
Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage