13 April 2001
Industry to help stricken producers
By FWi staff
FARMERS, auctioneers and agricultural charities are set to launch a multi-million Pound project to help livestock producers hit by foot-and-mouth disease.
Farmers from areas unaffected by the disease will be asked to donate animals to be sold at special charity auctions under a special “Stockpledge” scheme.
Although arrangements are in their early stages, it is intended that money raised will then be distributed to farmers in regions hit by the epidemic.
The initiative is backed in England and Wales by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the Livestock Auctioneers Association.
In Scotland, it is backed by the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers.
The Stockpledge scheme is being backed by Farmers Weekly.
Peter Kingwill, chairman of the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA), said: “This is a tremendous opportunity to re-vitalise our industry.
“It will bring a feel-good factor back into British livestock farming as the industry starts the re-building process in the wake of this dreadful disaster.”
About 1.5m animals have been condemned to death in the fight against foot-and-mouth disease. A further 1.5m are awaiting slaughter for welfare reasons.
An LAA council meeting next week will take the concept of Stockpledge a stage further and begin plans for the first sales to be held hopefully by late summer.
David Brown, LAA secretary said Stockpledge was a wonderful chance for the farmers who still have their livestock to make a donation to one of the sales.
“Our aim is to raise as much cash as we can an to ensure that it goes to those who have suffered so dreadfully at the hands of foot-and-mouth.”
The LAA covers almost 190 auction centres in England and Wales.
David Leggat, senior auctioneer at United Auctions and vice-president of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, said it was a marvellous idea.
“It is very encouraging to know that plans are already underway to help farmers recover from the ravages of the disease on their businesses.”
He added that he hoped all Scottish auctioneers the Institute represents 18 corporate firms in Scotland would support the Stockpledge scheme.