Lewis and Harris Auction Mart announced late on Friday (24 July) that they’ve been given the go-ahead to hold livestock auctions in their Steinish mart.

Earlier in the season there was confusion after media reports on island sales, leading Dingwall and Highland Marts – who conduct sales in Lewis – to reiterate their support for island crofters, while insisting that they must await Scottish Government guidance before making any decisions on island sales.

On Friday afternoon Lewis and Harris Mart directors said: “Late this afternoon (24th July) we were delighted to receive confirmation that we will be able to hold sales this year at the auction mart in Stornoway.”

Provisional dates have been listed on the website of Dingwall and Highland Marts, showing sales of lambs in Stornoway on Wednesday 26 August and 9 September and a sale of cattle and rams on 6 October. These dates are not confirmed.

Sales will be conducted following guidance from the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland and will include protection of vulnerable people, social distancing and new hygiene arrangements.

The directors in Lewis and Harris said: “We continue to work with Dingwall Auction Mart and our partners to put all arrangements in place and are not yet in a position to confirm exact sale dates and times. We will continue to provide updates to producers in the coming days as we confirm dates, booking arrangements and safe operating procedures for sales in Stornoway.

“We appreciate the patience of local producers this season and please be assured that we are doing all that we can to bring you information about the sales. Keep checking the website for the latest news.”

The website, which is also the portal for online booking of livestock, is at http://lewisandharrisauctionmart.co.uk/index.html

In further good news for crofters, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar announced last week that the abattoir in Stornoway will re-open next Monday (3 August). Bookings are being taken now on 01851 706733.

The picture shows Lewis and Harris Auction Mart during one of 2019’s record sales.