CUMBRIAN farmers are preparing their top dairy bulls for what is believed to be the UK’s first dedicated virtual pedigree livestock sale.

Leading Carlisle livestock auctioneers, Harrison & Hetherington, are staging the online auction for the 2020 Border and Lakeland Club annual spring sale of pedigree Holstein and British Friesian bulls.

The innovative initiative will allow this important sale of dairy bulls from across the North of England and Scotland, to go ahead.

H&H have taken the decision because of present Government coronavirus regulations, which have closed down markets temporarily throughout the UK.

The catalogue is already published, and the live bidding will commence today (Fri)at 9am with final bids to be made by Tuesday, April 14 at 5pm.

Further information is available at

This sale of Dairy Bulls is a key sale in the calendar as it enables farmers to source on the open market, new pedigree stock which is needed to guarantee the future of their herds.

Glyn Lucas, Senior Dairy auctioneer for Harrison & Hetherington, says: “We find ourselves in exceptionally challenging times, but it remains an important time of the year for farmers and it is imperative that the flow of breeding animals, that are critical to our milk supplies, is able to continue in order to reach the necessary businesses and individuals.

“Online selling is a fact of life in the economy, with auction sites proving to be effective and popular. In the context of livestock trading it may well prove to be an additional way of business in the future.”

The sale will comprise 70 bulls – 49 Holstein, 13 British Friesians and eight Fleckviehs.

Kevin Wilson of KJ & KS Wilson of Warnelview Farm, Thursby near Carlisle is selling 10 bulls and on taking part in the virtual sale, he said: “It is a shame we cannot take the bulls to the usual auction sale but under the circumstances we are fully aware that this is absolutely not possible. We have taken the next step and it is online instead, for me it is new territory, but a necessary and safe move. Without the benefit of the physical presence of a live auction room, I know that they are being presented the best light possible to potential buyers.

“I have prepared the bulls by washing, clipping and videoing them leading on the halter from all angles. We will have them on our own Facebook pages along with the online auction. It is very innovative to sell them under these circumstances and we hope to secure plenty of bidders to realise the best price. We are even happy to retain the bull under the purchase if the buyer can’t take it straight away.”

Glyn adds: “One of the big attractions of this year’s catalogue must be the large selection of outcross sires. All bulls selling have been tested free of BVD.”

All entries will be pictured and videoed, on the website, as well as their pedigrees and accompanying notes, which will be able to be accessed prior to the sale, to allow buyers to check on the bulls on offer, and information about them and the herds they come from.

“It is a way to get around these difficult times when we need to keep our customers, buyers and staff safe. We have buyers and sellers from all over the UK, so it would not be fair to ask them to travel here in these extraordinary times. Allowing videos to be accessed, allows buyers to witness the locomotion of the animal,” said Glyn.

The herds represented in the sale include Adams, Annandale, Berryholme, Carrock, Errolston, Evening, Gerrard, Heatherleigh, Jenkin, Lismulligan, Miresdale, Newbirks, Nerewater, Petteril, Queenscairn, Rockhall, Tallent, Tynevalley, Warnelview, Whinnow, Winnoch and Wormanby.