ONLINE livestock selling may become an additional way of business in the future for a leading Carlisle-based auctioneer.

According to Richard Rankin, CEO of H&H Group, based at Rosehill, in his weekly diary, while not replacing the hubbub of a live auction, online selling is now a fact of life in the economy. "In the context of livestock trading it may well prove to be an additional way of business in the future," he said.

Livestock sales have remained buoyant, despite the current conditions, due to the coronavirus crisis, says Richard.

This week Harrison & Hetherington added tractors and machinery to the usual sheep and cattle line-up. "With 200 lots, our timed online auction certainly covered a lot of ground, including 16 tractors/diggers, 2 high specification Land Rover Defenders, farm vehicles and gaitors as well as a plethora of smaller implements."

It was more positive news on the business front, when the H&H family announced the completion of the acquisition of a local Cockermouth company, Dotcom Associates Limited.

"Many months in the planning, this highly strategic move increases our technical and web development and hosting significantly and gives us the capability to advance our business plan by two to three years and the continuation of our vision to become a turnkey service for our clients," said Richard.

Other positive news for H&H Group saw the doors opening once again to H&H Land & Estates. "These guys have been working tirelessly from home throughout the pandemic but are all ready to get back to the office to offer face-to-face support and services. Valuing a piece of land outdoors is obviously less risk than meeting a client wanting to buy a property in an office, however, we have it covered and can assure that we return to ‘business as usual’ having done a very thorough COVID risk assessment and put in strict distancing measures for staff and clients. All meetings will be on appointment basis only and anyone booking in will be guided through the process to ensure everyone’s safety," added Richard.

Richard went on to give two messages on sheep worrying - the general public to keep dogs on a lead and avoid contact with livestock, and farmers to ensure they are covered for livestock worrying, as 15,000 sheep a year are killed by pet dogs.