‘Losing Louth’s cattle market would be a blow’

Louth Cattle Market.
Louth Cattle Market.

A local farmer has slammed potential plans to sell or repurpose Louth Cattle Market as ‘reducing viable options’ for buying and selling livestock in Lincolnshire.

Phil Spillman of Friesthorpe told the Mail that Louth Cattle Market is the county’s last, and to lose it would be a ‘blow’ to farmers in Lincolnshire.

East Lindsey District Council has set out three options for the future of the Cattle Market, which are:

• Selling the current site to ELDC’s ‘selected bidder’, the ADV Partnership, that would provide a retail development on the site with a new livestock facility built on the Fairfield Industrial Estate at the cost of £5 million.

• To suspend the Cattle Market and promote a Private Act of Parliament - at a cost of up to £200,000 - to discontinue the operation of a cattle market in Louth, allowing it to be sold for redevelopment without a replacement facility being built.

• To withdraw from the agreed sale with ADV and undertake repairs on the current site, costing up to £700,000.

ELDC has come under fire from various local groups, as well as members of the public and the Lincolnshire farming community.

Mr Spillman explained that the auction system - used for the sale of livestock at the Cattle Market - has been around ‘for hundreds of years’ and is the principal of selling beef and a ‘significant part of setting the price beef processers pay’.

He added: “I’ve seen the figures from ELDC and I can see why from their point of view the market hardly looks viable.

“But the auction is the main way of selling beef in the community as a whole.

“More than that, it’s a shop window for us to advertise our stock.

“It’s also the only place you know you can buy local guaranteed TB clear beef cattle.

“If we lost the market, that would be the last one in Lincolnshire gone. It’s reducing viable options for buying and selling beef and breeding cattle.

“From a welfare point of view, having to transport cattle futher afield to sell is worse for their wellbeing.

“I’d be very sad to see it go.”