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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Poll on subject sale of cattle in marts: Majority in favour of 30-min window

Our readers have voiced their views in relation to rules concerning the subject sale of cattle.

Across many marts nationwide, customers, who sell their cattle subject (not present in the sellers’ box when their livestock come under the hammer), generally, have, in many cases, up to 60 minutes to confirm or reject a price for their livestock.

But, in a number of marts, going forward, sellers will have a shorter window of between 15-30 minutes after their animal(s) has passed through the ring.

The onus is on the seller to make contact with the mart, and a failure to do so will result in the mart “assuming that the sale is okay,” as a statement from a number of marts read.

We ran a poll on subject sales in livestock marts, which yielded the following results from 1,000 participants:

Do you sell your livestock subject in marts?

  • 7%: yes;
  • 3%: no.

How long should a seller, who is selling their stock subject and are not present on the premises, have to reject or accept a price, once their animal(s) have passed through the ring?

  • 2%: 60 minutes;
  • 9%: 30 minutes;
  • 4%: 10 minutes;
  • 10%: 20 minutes;
  • 1%: 15 minutes;

In the others part of the survey, 31.9% of participants wrote that the mart should contact the seller, while others said: “Until the owner is contacted – a mart will lose sales if it is done”, and another wrote: “Same as rejection pen“.

Do you sell your cattle subject while on the mart premises?

  • Yes – 21.4%
  • No – 78.6%

Have you previously sold cattle subject while on the mart premises?

  • Yes – 32.4%;
  • No – 67.6%
That’s Farming’s readers have their say

Our readers also engaged on social media, with one user writing that “online apps need to be updated so that the seller can log in and say they are happy with the price”.

“I have often watched my cattle sell online and thought to myself if there was a button to press saying seller accepts, it would save the mart staff time ringing me and sometimes not getting through as I would be out doing tractor work immediately after my cattle sell.”

Another said that this is an area that “needs tidying up”.

“It is absolutely ridiculous having to wait on occasions for a seller to contact the mart for up to an hour after the sale, especially in a small sale.”

“Cattle buyers need clarity as regards if the seller is accepting the price or not,” they added.

One reader wrote: “Buyers can get frustrated too, thinking they have a certain number of cattle bought to find out later that some of them have been struck off.”

“The sellers should know as soon as the hammer goes down if they are taking the price or not. But yes, a little time (10 minutes) at the most is ample time to let the mart know,” they added.

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