Protecting staff and customers will be United Auctions' main priority at next weekend's rescheduled Stirling Bull Sales, which will feature no fewer than 741 pedigree bulls and females from seven breeds.

The sales, which this time will commence on Saturday, October 17 through until Monday, October, 19, will operate under a strict, safety-first format designed to limit the number of people on site at any one time while maximising buyer spaces to achieve the best trade possible.

With no pre-sale shows, the sales are able to start on the Saturday, instead of the usual Monday format. And, like all market sales, only those directly involved with the cattle either as consignors or purchasers will be able to attend

"There will be no spectator element to the Bull Sales this year unless you're here to buy a bull," said John Roberts, group sales directer at United Auctions.

"The breed sales will take place at prescribed times and if you take your seat in the sale ring, we expect you to be interested in bidding. In this way, we don’t compromise the safety of the people in the ring and it ensures that business can continue to be done. It is everyone’s individual responsibility to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.”

He added that pre-registered buyers, with bidding numbers, for each breed sale will be designated a seat in the ring positioned 2metres apart. There will also be an additional tic tac area which will be monitored to ensure social distancing. Face masks or coverings will be mandatory at all times. Press attendance is also be limited and there will be reduced catering available and no bar.

Inspections will take place over the weekend with the Aberdeen-Angus bull sale opening the event on the morning of Saturday, October 17, in the cattle ring with Aberdeen-Angus females sold in the sheep ring in the afternoon.

Beef Shorthorn bulls will go under the hammer in the sheep ring on the morning of Sunday, October 18, followed by Salers and Maine Anjou bulls, and Beef Shorthorn females. The afternoon will see the sale of the Charolais bulls in the cattle ring and Charolais females in the sheep ring.

The Limousin bull sale will be held on the morning of Monday, October 19, in the cattle ring followed in the afternoon by Simmental females with the Simmental bull sale closing the event.

The October Bull Sales will also see three dispersals, to include John Loftus’ Preston-based Weeton herd of Aberdeen Angus, the Knockenjig herd of Beef Shorthorns from David and Rosemary Dickie at Sanquhar and the Charolais dispersal of the Westcarse herd of JH Christie and Son, West Carse, Stirling. In addition, there will be a major reduction of the Eastfield herd of Aberdeen-Angus cattle from TH Brewis, Eastfield of Lempitlaw, Kelso.

Although there are no pre-sale shows, bulls will be paraded in number order around the Exhibition Hall prior to their sale to allow buyers to view their locomotion, depending on social distancing rules at the time.

Barrie Turner, chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, said: “It is a great achievement that we are able to attend a live sale situation again. As a society we expect all members to take their individual responsibility seriously by fully complying with the important safety measures put in place by United Auctions in order to complete a transaction. After all, the Bull Sales are about selling cattle. Preserving the functionality of the market system as an important part of the agricultural supply chain by our compliance with the rules, is a must, in the current crisis.”

Donald Young, group sales director for United Auctions, and president of IAAS, commented: “The industry has worked hard to keep Scotland’s livestock marts open during the lockdown and we must all continue to follow the rules and regulations throughout the Stirling Bull Sales to avoid an outbreak. We appreciate how hard it is going to be for buyers and sellers alike, but in this global pandemic making sure everyone is safe has to be the top priority.”

He added: “We’d especially like to thank our event sponsors Galbraith for their continued support of the Stirling Bull Sales during these challenging and unprecedented times.”


Friday, October 16

3pm Yard opens (Aberdeen-Angus only)

Saturday, October 17

7am Yard opens (Beef Shorthorn, Salers, Maine Anjou and Charolais only)

7.30am Aberdeen-Angus bull inspection (time and configuration will be finalised when social distancing rules are confirmed)

11.45am Sale of Aberdeen-Angus bulls (cattle ring)

2pm Sale of Aberdeen-Angus females (sheep ring)

3.30pm Beef Shorthorn bull inspection followed by Salers and Maine Anjou (time and configuration will be finalised when social distancing rules are confirmed)

4pm Charolais bull inspection (time and configuration will be finalised when social distancing rules are confirmed)

Sunday, October 18

7am Yard opens (Simmental and Limousin)

11am Sale of Beef Shorthorn bulls followed by Salers and Maine Anjou (sheep ring)

11.30am Sale of Beef Shorthorn females (sheep ring)

12.30pm Sale of Charolais bulls (cattle ring)

3pm Sale of Charolais females (sheep ring)

3pm Limousin bull inspection (time and configuration will be finalised when social distancing rules are confirmed)

4.30pm (approx) Simmental bull inspection (time and configuration will be finalised when social distancing rules are confirmed)

Monday, October 19

10.30am Sale of Limousin bulls (cattle ring)

1pm Sale of Simmental females (cattle ring)

1.30pm Sale of Simmental bulls (cattle ring)

NB – bulls will be allowed to parade in number order prior to going to the sale ring. This format will be confirmed prior to the sale and will depend on current social distancing rules. Vendors who have more than one breed will be allowed to bring their bulls at the same time by arrangement with the auctioneers.