First Post-F&M Auction Yesterday

Though parts of the UK are still plagued by foot and mouth disease, the first live cattle auction since the outbreak of the epidemic exactly six months ago was held yesterday in Kirkwall in the Orkneys. The sale, which attracted farmers from miles around, was seen as a boost for the economy of the islands and of the Scottish farming industry in general.
Prices, apparently, were good and some of the 500 animals on sale going for over £600 each. Punters were obliged to wear
protective clothing, shoes and boots had to be disinfected, and strict controls were enforced on who was allowed to handle the animals. The last time Kirkwall cattle auction was held was a on February 19, just a day before foot and mouth was identified among pigs at an abbatoir in Essex. No cases of the disease have been recorded in Scotland since May 30, and if the country stays free of the disease for 90 days (there is now only a week to go) it could hope to re-open its export status soon. Here’s hoping the continuation of the disease south of the border won’t scotch (!) its chances.

Photo: Cottage at Scorradale, Orkneys

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