Livestock sector celebrates 200 years of auction marts
A series of events will be held across the UK this year as the livestock industry celebrates 200 years of auction marts.
The first registered auction was held at Hawick in 1817, and today 152 livestock auction markets are held in the UK. These have a joint turnover of £2.2bn and sell 12m sheep, 1.6m cattle and around 150,000 pigs.
The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) launched the year of celebrations by publishing a new brochure charting the history of livestock auction marts since the first registered auction.
Farming minister George Eustice MP was at the launch.
“I am delighted to congratulate the livestock auction industry on this special anniversary, and to recognise the important contribution auction markets make to the rural economy,” he said.
“Over two centuries livestock auction markets have provided a consistent, stable and transparent method of selling livestock.”
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA stressed the “crucial role” of the auctions today.
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“Along with our colleagues at the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers of Scotland (IAAS), we are organising a number of events and activities to celebrate the important role of the livestock auction industry,” he said.
“Our annual conference, from May 18-21, will have a special focus on the bicentenary celebrations, while at the same time bringing together industry experts and keynote speakers to address the key issues facing the industry today.”
The LAA and IAAS continue to support, develop and promote the crucial role of the livestock auctioneer, helping to deliver an open, transparent and competitive marketing forum for the red-meat sector and the wider rural economy, he added.
“We can draw on our proud history to address and tackle new challenges and opportunities facing the industry.”.
Mr Eustice said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the livestock auction industry for its dedicated approach to driving the livestock industry and rural economy forwards.”
Details of planned activities and events marking the bicentenary will be released soon and will be available on the LAA website at www.laa.co.uk.