The National Sheep Association’s south west ram sale at Exeter market is currently the only confirmed national NSA ram sale to go ahead this year.

Both the NSA’s regional ram sale committee and Kivells Auctioneers, which conducts the sale of 600 rams, are confident Exeter market can accommodate vendors and buyers safely on Wednesday, August 19.

“We have the facilities and have already experienced selling breeding sheep under Covid-19 government market regulations so, by August, will have plenty of experience to make this work,” said Russell Steer, Kivell’s director and sheep auctioneer at Exeter market.

“But in order to meet these criteria there will be some alterations to the sale layout and running order.”

As soon as the NSA South West ram sale committee had consulted with Kivells over the realistic viability of holding the sale it unanimously committed itself to ensuring NSA buyers and vendors within the region have every opportunity to sell and source rams this year.

“We need to be optimistic on behalf of our membership and so we are doing all we can to put on this sale under what are very difficult circumstances,” said NSA South West ram sale chairman Robert Jordan.

“In order for the sale to be a success both buyers and vendors should be aware there will be some changes to the ram sale rules.

"And, at any point, if and when government legislation relating to markets alters, we have the prerogative to make any changes – or cancel the sale – if necessary in order to protect everyone from this virus.

"It is going to take a great deal of planning but we are determined to offer our membership this opportunity.”

NSA Wales and Border ram sales committee has announced it is cancelling both its sales at the Royal Welsh showground, Builth Wells.

A firm decision has yet to be made as to the future of the two NSA Eastern regional sales at Rugby and Melton Mowbray.

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