Innovation Exchange

Livestock Markets


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Our novel approach to ensure that livestock markets meet their legal requirements and have effective management in place to protect the welfare of livestock and minimise the spread of disease, has not only enable the service to use its limited resources more efficiently and effectively, but has led to our risk-based strategy being adopted as the national model for market visits across Scotland. This is to be implemented by other local authorities and also the Governments Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency, is welcomed by industry and is recognised as “better practice” in the National Animal Health and Framework Agreement.  

Theme: Service Transformation

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  • We are able to resource the inspection of markets within our available resource, and developed more effective targeted interventions

  • The approach is consistent with the principles of better regulation as it is open, transparent, proportionate and risk-based. We engaged with other agencies and the markets in the development and piloting of the strategy and as a result, standards have improved and markets operators are have commented positively on our approach.

  • As a result, through the work of the Regulatory Services Manager as a member of the Framework Steering Group, the strategy is now regarded as “better practice” (the highest standard in the Nation Framework Agreement)

  • Our novel approach has been recognised and has been adopted as a national standard by the Scottish Government, who had identified through a Baseline Report of Livestock Markets, that there was a need to change the national approach. Our strategy is to be used by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency and other local authorities.

Service delivery and efficiency

If we had accepted and sought to comply with the national Framework, we would have been unable to deliver the animal health and welfare service plan for programmed farm visits or meet our increasing reactive workload, as we would have had to focus on market visits.

The new approach and allowed us to increase our number of market-related visits; and yet at the same time, to achieve 100% of high risk visits; 93% of service requests resolved within 20 working days (target was 90%) and continue to support the agricultural industry within Argyll and Bute.


Economy and growth

Having compliant markets allows the local farming community to move livestock freely across Scotland and the UK and supports the economy. Also a good regulatory framework is key to a sustainable economy

Standards at markets have improved and there is a greater awareness of requirements in the farming community as to what is expected for livestock which is to be taken to and from market.



We have to meet our statutory responsibilities under the Act and regulate business. Notwithstanding this, we engaged with market operators and discussed our approach and any concerns they may have had prior to, and on conclusion, of the pilot. We also discussed our approach with the Lead Veterinary Officer (AHVLA) to get their support in risk assessing each market to ensure that all factors were considered through the strategy, and to try and prevent duplication of visits.


National Risk assessment scheme

Market operators are supportive of this risk-based approach, and the new national scheme has been accepted by the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland. The new approach has been adopted by other Scottish Local Authorities, Animal Health and Plant Agency and Market Operators.


There is an opportunity to influence standards and improve compliance, through working with stakeholders and partners.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Alan Morrison

Road Safety Officer

Regulatory Services Manager

01546 604292

Case study added to site: June 2016

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