Prince Charles commissions study into livestock marts

Farmers are being asked to help highlight the benefits of their local livestock market to help preserve the financial and social role they have in the countryside.

A study commissioned by The Prince’s Countryside Fund and run by Exeter University will examine how a viable, socially responsible and vibrant livestock auction mart sector can be encouraged and supported.

Britain’s livestock marts have been in decline over recent years and the study follows a visit to Louth market in Lincolnshire by Prince Charles in March 2018.

See also: Financial health of livestock auction sector in decline

Since then, one-third of the UK’s 75 livestock auction firms have recorded a loss, and the prince has been keen to look at how the social role of markets can be supported.

Researchers at the university’s Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR) said they wanted to hear from auctioneers, livestock owners and any other stakeholders who used auction marts, to help identify examples of good practice as markets adapt to changing demands and circumstances.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund director Claire Saunders said: “We are aware of the difficulties that many of these businesses are facing.

“We hope that this research will offer practical recommendations to help them prepare for the future and ensure their long-term survival.”

Have your say

To respond to the call for evidence, visit Exeter University’s website.

Responses should be submitted by 28 February 2020.