Archive Article: 2001/09/28

28 September 2001

THE 21-day standstill imposed on stock movements is already reducing profits and causing headaches on Peter Delbridges sheep and suckler unit in Devon.

"As breeding and store stock will be sold over the next three weeks, buying in a calf to replace one we lost proved to be impossible so we had to dry one cow off.

"I have no problem with purchasing an animal and keeping it on the holding for three weeks, as it is a sensible way of controlling diseases. But not being able to sell animals even with bought-in stock isolated makes life difficult – the selling season is short enough already."

Mr Delbridge believes David Chennells does not take into account the way the hill sheep industry operates. "The east of the country, where Mr Chennells is based, has fewer sheep with most sold deadweight. In the west, sales are essential."

Pigs can also be sold all year round, whereas most sheep and cattle sales are seasonal, he adds.

He believes the proposed 21-day standstill will stifle the industry in its present form. "The rule is bound to limit the number of buyers be-cause producers wanting to sell stock will be prevented from buying."

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