DUE TO the disruption caused by Coronavirus, the National Sheep Association's Scottish Region has taken the 'regrettable decision' to postpone NSA Scotsheep 2020, which was to take place on Wednesday June 3.

The organising committee – which had initially resisted the avalanche of rural event cancellations and held firm to the original date – said it would continue to work to deliver the event as soon as possible and 'very tentatively' set a new date of Wednesday July 8, 2020, a date that most importantly suits the hosts, Robert and Hazel McNee, who need to fit the event in around their farming operation.

"NSA understands that this date is optimistic and that it may need to be reviewed again in light of the future situation with COVID 19 but NSA Scottish Region has lodged an application for the necessary licences and will keep the situation under close review," said the updated statement from the association.

NSA Scotsheep 2020 chairman Willy Millar commented: “We are really disappointed to have had to postpone this event although current circumstances give us no choice. We also realise that choosing a date in early July brings risks and we may have to review again. However our firm belief is that NSA Scotsheep is a crucial event for the sheep industry in Scotland and further afield – it is important for the industry but also for the social aspect of the farming community, and there is no doubt that people will be keen to get back to a more normal way of life as soon as possible."

With regard to NSA Sheep Event 2020, although the situation could change suddenly, NSA said it was, as of today, 'sitting tight and not making any decisions about changing the date'.

"NSA is aware that many people are looking for answers and decisions and we recognise and apologise for the uncertainty this causes. We will be watching the situation very closely and will notify stand holders, trade, sponsors, and the wider industry as things become clearer."

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker stated: “It would be easy to simply make the decision to cancel or postpone NSA Sheep 2020 but the ramifications of this are huge and the planned date of July 28 is not too close to be forced into any decision now. We are looking at potential alternatives if we are forced to cancel this event, but if we are, people can be sure that we will be running something similar as soon as the opportunity allows. NSA Sheep 2020 is too important and valuable an event to simply abandon. I would appeal to all our supporters and partners to bear with us, we will keep people informed as early as we can and look forward to working with our many partners in every way we can."