28 July 1998
Scottish auctions ‘obsolete’?

ONE of Scotlands most senior auctioneers has been made redundant amid widespread concern that the livestock auction system was “obsolete”.

Willie Blair, of John Swan & Sons, Edinburgh and St Boswells, was a former president of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers for Scotland. He was due to retire in under two years.

His redundancy comes after a wave of mart closures on both sides of the Border.

Major David Walter, a farmer of Balthayock, Perth, issued the general condemnation of marts in general.

There are 20 corporate auctioneering companies in Scotland, with 35 marts handling more than £250 million-worth of store stock and £235m of prime stock. In the UK, 45% of prime cattle and 65% of prime lambs are sold through live marts.

  • The Scotsman 28/07/98 page 26