Auctioneers Halls held their second successful ‘orange’ sale of TB restricted cattle at Shrewsbury Auction Centre on November 9 when 194 cattle were sold to 21 different buyers.

Cattle can only be sold to approved finishing units (AFUs) in England from orange markets, which attracts a wider range of buyers who can also buy younger cattle for finishing.

The top steer prices were £1,120 for 19-month-old Angus, £1,050 for 19-month-old Charolais, £1,030 for 19-month-old British Blue, £690 for 15-month-old British Blue cross. Top heifer prices were £1,030 for 19-month-old Charolais, £910 for 19-month-old Angus and £490 for 15-month-old Angus. Year old bulls sold to £445,

Calf prices were £210 for a British Blue heifer, £190 for British Blue bulls, £100 for Angus heifers and £90 for bull calves.

“It was a pleasure to sell well fed, stored and well-bred cattle over the age of 15 months at near identical rates to the clean market,” said Halls’ cattle auctioneer Jonny Dymond. “Importantly, each and every lot met competitive bidding.”

The sale included 50 cattle from Northamptonshire and Halls is now attracting entries from across the Midlands, Shropshire and the Welsh border.

The company’s first orange market was held on October 5, when 134 cattle were sold.

“It’s sad fact that cases of TB in cattle are continuing to increase,” said Mr Dymond. “Those farmers that have never had the disease on their farm often feel they are sitting on a ticking time bomb, while those under restriction hope beyond hope, in most cases, that their battle only lasts as long as a two-test cycle.

“It’s very easy to forget, when you’re under TB restrictions, that you are not the only farmer in this situation and that a buyer is not the only person who can buy your cattle.

“Having grown up in Cornwall, I saw the devastating effect of TB at first hand. When I was in my early teens, a TB test took 30 (75 per cent) of our in-calf heifers, just weeks off calving, to slaughter. It left a mark that I’m sure many who have suffered the devastating effects of this indiscriminate disease can relate to.

“Throughout my career, I have always tried to limit the financial effects this disease has on farming businesses. This has included co-ordinating the first ever TB restricted orange auction in Holsworthy Market, Devon, in 2010, on-farm sales of store cattle and calves and weekly collections of black and white bull calves.”