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'Another blow' for Welsh farmers as Cardigan livestock market closes

The auctioneers hammer came down for the final time at Cardigan livestock market this morning.

The auctioneer's hammer came down for the final time at Cardigan livestock market this morning.

For decades, farmers have been coming to buy and sell their livestock here.

This is the second livestock market to shut in the space of a couple of weeks with Cowbridge being the first.

It's closure is said to be a combination of factors including rising costs, reduced animals and high rates of TB in the area.

This is the second livestock market to close in Wales in the space of a couple of weeks.

For many in this market, they said this is not only a place to sell cattle and sheep, but also a lifeline socially.

Rees family getting ready to go to Cardigan livestock market for the final time.

The Rees family are local dairy and beef farmers. They have been using the market for more than 40 years.

They said the closure will have financial costs.

The sad thing is that after today we'll have to travel at least half an hour to three quarters of an hour to get to the nearest market. You're going to lose at least half the day and when you've only got two or three calves to sell that day it won't be that cost effective.

– Aled Rees, dairy farmer

For the Rees family, the closest auction now will be in Newcastle Emlyn or Whitland which will take at least double the time to get to.

Hedydd Rees has fond childhood memories of Cardigan market.

Hedydd Rees has fond memories of when she was a child going with her father to the livestock market.

For Hedydd and many other farmers they never thought the day that Cardigan market closes would ever come.

Hedydd Rees said the threat of TB is contributing to the closure of small livestock markets in Wales.

I’ve got a lot of memories coming here with my father and selling lambs and he putting me in the pens with the lambs hoping to get a better price, but it brings back a lot of childhood memories.

– Hedydd Rees, dairy farmer

Hedydd said she is worried that the threat of TB is contributing to the closure of small livestock markets.

I am concerned this is a sign of the times. TB is ruling our lives and at the moment we are clear of TB. six months ago we weren't. You’ve just got to take things day by day and until something is done and sorted out with TB this is the way things are going to go.

– Hedydd Rees, dairy farmer
Cardigan livestock market is a place for farmers to socialise every Monday.

But as well as childhood memories, the market has a fond place in her heart for other reasons.

Apparently my husband saw me here many moons ago, apparently he was in the fat lamb queue and I was walking across the yard with my farmer. We didn’t actually meet but that is where he saw me first. And 27 years later we’re married.

– Hedydd Rees, dairy farmer

Malgwyn Evans a retired auctioneer hopes the closure of the market is a "lesson to everybody" to work together and protect the future of other livestock markets.

Malgwyn Evans hopes the closure of the market is a

Farmers said the mood at the market felt generally low.

For many it is the "peoples market" and an "end of an era in Cardigan."

Brian Thomas, Deputy President at Farmers Union for Wales said this is a "sad day for the industry and for Cardigan."

Brian Rees from FUW said Cardigan was

He said Cardigan was "one of the most prosperous markets" but its closing mainly due to TB and reduced livestock.

"It's having a downward spiral on the rural economy and its got to be adjusted," he added.