Confusing and conflicting rules on livestock movements' from DEFRA Prices in nosedive as lamb logjam develops Heavy loadings of lamb on to the market have now become a flood but a logjam has been created in the process. With around 1.5 million extra lambs diverted from the export to the home market because of the foot and mouth ban, this might have been expected, although special light lamb promotions eased the flow from upland areas, with the £2.7m campaign due to run to mid-October. "The trouble is we are getting all kinds of lamb ­ light and heavy ­ coming through the system now and we are also coming into the beef season," says Jim Holden, procurement manager for Kepak at Preston, Lancashire. The logjam is feeding back to procurement agencies such as the Border Livestock Exchange in the Scottish Borders which supplies about a dozen abattoirs. "We are going round in circles," says the Exchange's James Logan. "Supermarkets say they are selling more than ever but we have supplies backed up on farms and can't get them moved. We are worried sick and prices have nosedived. Two weeks ago they were making 170p, now they are down to 150p or less." Part of the problem, says John Thorley, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, is the confusing and often conflicting rules on livestock movements from DEFRA. "As soon as we solve one issue, another pops up in its place," he says. But Tim Nice But Dim is charming consumers. Jane Connor, the Meat and Livestock Commission's sheep market specialist, says lamb sales to mid-August were 2% up on the year with a similar increase expected to mid-September. "So it is a patchy picture. This is a peak lamb loading season and in some parts, particularly northern England, movement restrictions are still causing problems while retailers in southern England say they could do with more supplies." {{MEAT }}