A JOINT industry group comprising the Scottish Beef Cattle Association, the National Beef Association, and the National Sheep Association has organised an afternoon seminar for Monday January 21.

The open meeting, at the Royal Hotel in Bridge of Allan at 2pm, will be addressed by Alyn Smith MEP with supporting speakers Stuart Ashworth from Quality Meat Scotland and Douglas Bell from SAC (Scottish Agricultural College).

The first part of the discussion will be a report from Mr Smith on his recent study tour of the Brazilian beef industry and the impact it could have on European beef prices if the EU negotiates a trade deal.

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The second part will allow Mr Smith to summarise the latest situation regarding the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). He will be accompanied by SAC's Mr Bell who specialises in CAP matters and will give his views on the present situation.

The debate on CAP reform is particularly timely as the European Parliament's Agricultural Committee – of which Mr Smith is a member – is due to take a crunch vote in the middle of next week on the four dossiers of CAP legislation to replace the old rules when they expire at the end of this year.

Mr Smith said: "Next week's vote is a crucial stage in creating the new CAP, as it will essentially be the position of the European parliament going into negotiations with the member state governments in the council. There is a further stage within the parliament when this package goes to the full chamber, but by and large we can only expect tinkering by that stage; next week is C-Day."


Wallets Marts sold 1483 prime hoggs in Castle Douglas on Tuesday to a top of £71.50 per head and 172.5p per kg to average 146.8p.

There were also 582 cast sheep that were topped by a Texel ram at £88 and averaged £43.18.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 32 prime heifers at Ayr on Tuesday to a top of 224p per kg and an average of 208.2p, while 12 prime bullocks peaked at 223p and levelled at 203.4p. Nine young bulls sold to 216p and averaged 197.2p.

In the rough ring, 89 beef cows averaged 134.9p, while 133 dairy cows levelled at 109.8p. Six bulls averaged 135.9p.

There were 36 dairy cattle forward at the firm's January Friesian show and sale with the championship going to a Holstein Friesian bull from Messrs Sloan, Darnlaw, that sold for 3400gns. The reserve overall was a calved heifer off Messrs Telfer, Little Raith that sold for 2500gns. Averages: pedigree heifers and calves, 2030gns; pedigree bulls, 1960gns; 18 commercial cattle, £1465.79.

The firm went on to sell 1478 prime hoggs in Newton Stewart yesterday to a top of £80 and 186.1p to average 138p. There were 227 cast sheep forward, with ewes selling to £60 for Crosses and £50 for Blackfaces.