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Hawes market closure cost £2 million

[Thursday 20 September 2007]

HUGE losses to Dales hill farmers because of foot and mouth movement restrictions are being highlighted because of an estimate that the closure of the two-day Hawes sales has already cost the industry £2 million, says the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

Although Defra has lifted restrictions to allow livestock to be delivered straight to abattoirs for slaughter, hill farmers are still banned from taking their stock to livestock marts for onward sale to lowland farmers who over- winter them - and this is the key time of the year for such sales.

So desperate is the situation that the CLA is calling on the European Union to pay for freezer space so that spring lamb killed now can be sold later. Otherwise, there could be a glut which could lead to "a meltdown in the lamb market."

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