§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what future role she envisages for livestock auction marts. 918W
§ Mr. Morley
Livestock auction markets have an important role in the marketing of farm animals between the various stages of production and some markets may be suitable for a range of activities or for more diversified marketing. This issue is of particular importance where large numbers of cross-bred breeding stock and store stock for fattening are sold off the hills to lowland farms such as, for example, in the Northern Uplands. We are in contact with industry interests to help identify and respond to day to day issues as well as to consider together the longer-term marketing framework.