MSP Mundell Joins Mart Team At Top Ram Sale's Away Day

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has praised the team which ensured that the rescheduled Kelso ram sale could take place at an alternative venue last week, after being initially cancelled in July.

 

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Mr Mundell, who is also the Scottish Conservatives' spokesperson for farming, attended Harrison and Hetherington’s Lockerbie Mart on Friday where he met auctioneer Michael Stewart and trainee auctioneer Joel McGarva following the sales.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the initial Kelso ram sales were cancelled on July 8, only the third time this has happened in the iconic event’s history.

However, Harrison and Hetherington ensured that the important auctions could take place in Lockerbie and Carlisle last week, with Mr Mundell stressing the vital importance of market sales in ensuring that farmers can achieve the best price through their sales.

The constituency MSP welcomed extra safeguards which were put in place and stated he looked forward to next year when he hoped that sales will be back to normal.

Mr Mundell said: “I cannot praise those involved highly enough for ensuring that these rescheduled Kelso ram sales could go ahead.

“It was a real blow when the iconic event was cancelled in July, but with extra safety precautions in place, it was excellent to attend one of the re-arranged sales at Lockerbie mart.

“Even with the extra precautions, it was good to see business being done and farmers looking firmly to the future which is testament to the strength of the industry.

“Auction sales remain a way for farmers to establish the best price for their livestock and they also play an important role right now in allowing farmers to catch up, albeit socially distanced.

“Our farmers have done a power of work, above and beyond their normal duties, to ensure food has remained on our shelves.

“Visiting these sales in my new rural economy role gives me a perfect opportunity to hear directly about the challenges they are facing and how I can support the industry going forward.”