Thursday, 29 November, 2001

By FWi staff

THREE leading farming organisations have agreed to back the Livestock Auctioneers Associations and FARMERS WEEKLYs new campaign to Save Our Markets.

The NFU, the National Beef Association and the National Sheep Association have all lent their support to our initiative, launched this week, to get livestock marts back in business in England and Wales in the New Year.

This will mark a time, barring further outbreaks, when three months will have passed since the last case of foot-and-mouth.

The LAAs chairman, Peter Kingwill, has always believed this was the timetable.

Scotland followed this schedule and it seemed reasonable to assume that England and Wales would follow too, he says.

But now the LAA believes that the government is stalling.

Its members are already facing 10 months of lost revenue and still do not know what changes they might have to implement to stay in operation.

Livestock farmers too, have lost out. There is no doubt that poor stock prices during foot-and-mouth have been largely due to closures.

John Thorley, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, says: “Markets are absolutely vital.

“They are an accurate barometer of price and without them we are largely in the hands of the big retailers.”

We want your help too. By signing our online petition addressed to Lord Whitty, junior Defra minister, producers can help secure the future of marts up and down the country.

  • Save our Markets – click here to sign our petition