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One of the UK’s largest sheep and cattle market has just installed new CCTV cameras to improve the monitoring of thousands of animals that are bought and sold at its auctions every week.
Craven Cattle Marts in Skipton has added eight new cameras to its round-the-clock CCTV operation which are being used to monitor cattle pens and alleyways at the market on busy sale days.
The move brings the number of cameras at the site to 23, providing a high level, sophisticated security operation at the market, which employs 40 staff and covers three acres off Gargrave Road.
Craven Cattle Marts says its investment in CCTV monitoring ensures full livestock audit trails for its customers, many of whom are buying large numbers of animals worth thousands of pounds.
On a typical sale day, there can be 1,000 people at the market, including 250 vendors, buyers and drovers. Auctioneers can conduct sales at a rate of up to three lots a minute containing 80-120 sheep, and more than 10,000 lambs can be sold in any one day.
Given the numbers of livestock and movements through the market, the opportunity for miss-counts is high. However, the CCTV monitoring enables Craven Cattle Marts to check where any problems occur and rectify them.
Jeremy Eaton, general manager and company secretary at Craven Cattle Marts, says: “The cameras are an integral part of our professional service to our customers and show that we are fully accountable when they are buying and selling at our market.
“The high definition footage captured by the cameras is extremely accurate and flexible – we can slow the images down and identify exactly where livestock have been and when. It also provides us with the reassurance and peace of mind that sheep and cattle are being counted correctly as they move through the market – we don’t have to lie awake at night counting sheep!”
Keybury Fire and Security, based in Keighley, has worked with Craven Cattle Marts on its camera and security system for the last 10 years. Director Patrick Beebe says: “The market has continually updated and improved its security operation to ensure it delivers a professional service to its customers.
“Counting sheep is perhaps one of our more unusual projects but it’s a great one to work on!”