A rural auctioneer is holding the UK’s first dedicated virtual pedigree livestock sale as the coronavirus crisis continues to cause restrictions.
The initiative will allow Harrison & Hetherington's (H&H) Annual Dairy Pedigree Sale of dairy bulls, from across the North of England and Scotland, to still go ahead.
The rural firm's decision to launch an online catalogue comes as Covid-19 restrictions have made the conduct of livestock sales impossible.
But the virtual sale will allow “normal” trading to continue, albeit without the face-to-face sales that the traditional mart embodies.
The catalogue is already published, and bidding will commence on Friday 10 April at 9am, with final bids to be made by Tuesday 14 April at 5pm.
The sale will comprise 70 bulls – 49 Holstein, 13 British Friesians and 8 Fleckviehs.
Glyn Lucas, senior dairy auctioneer for Harrison & Hetherington, said the industry finds itself in 'exceptionally challenging times'.
"It remains an important time of the year for farmers and it is imperative that the flow of breeding animals, that are critical to our milk supplies, is able to continue in order to reach the necessary businesses and individuals," he said.
"Online selling is a fact of life in the economy, with auction sites proving to be effective and popular. In the context of livestock trading it may well prove to be an additional way of business in the future."
Mr Lucas added: “One of the big attractions of this year’s catalogue must be the large selection of outcross sires. All bulls selling have been tested free of BVD.”
All entries will be pictured and videoed on the website as well as their pedigrees and accompanying notes.