Farmers in Shetland rejoice as sales have resumed after a short recess due to the weather conditions caused by storm Babet.

Weekly sales held at Lerwick were postponed thanks to the stormy weather cancelling the ferries needed to transport passengers and livestock to and from the sale.

Auctioneer Ellis Mutch spoke on the events:

“The weather is something we can’t control and if there aren’t any boats then nothing can get here, everyone is very understanding. We were able to reschedule the sales and it has been very successful so far.

“It is due to the hard work of the teams at Shetland Livestock Marketing Group and Northlink ferries that we were able to go ahead with the sales, the farming community of Shetland is a credit to themselves and we were able to hold sales last week to a tremendous trade with buyers coming up from the mainland.”

Cecil Eunson, chair of SLMG, said: "The cattle sale took place on Friday 27th, this was 16 days after the original sale date, during which we have had the worst period of easterly gales for some years.

"Like any delay, it adds additional work and cost. What we have had for the past fortnight is a serious weather issue, certainly not a welfare issue.

"We would have a welfare issue, however, if cattle were shipped during the horrendous weather of the past fortnight and were arriving injured at Aberdeen. Our industry has a ‘Duty of Care’, to ensure our livestock arrives safely in Aberdeen. Our ‘Duty of Care’ does not stop at the Croft Road end.

"The decision whether livestock are shipped, or not, is taken by the ship’s captain, using their knowledge of the forecast, the route, and the ship, time will tell if new ships would go to sea, and carry livestock, with the weather of the past two weeks.

"I would like to say a big thank you to all marts, haulage, pier, and Northlink staff for all the extra work involved during the past fortnight."

Sheep sales resumed from Tuesday, October 24th to Thursday 26th, and cattle sales returned on Friday, October 27th.