THE claims made by Gary Housden, in his recommendation to members of Ryedale District Council (RDC), that the retention of a livestock market in Ryedale “helps to reduce the distance that livestock is transported” and is “helping to reduce food miles”, and, more incredibly, that it is “beneficial in terms of enhanced animal welfare matters”, are wholly incorrect. In fact, the opposite is true.

In 2018, much of Ryedale’s livestock is sold direct to the ABP abattoir in York.

By “cutting-out the middle-man”, and selling direct to the abattoir, not only do farmers avoid paying commission to the Malton livestock auctioneers but, more importantly, this trend reduces unnecessary handling and transportation of livestock, which is of real benefit to animal welfare.

By contrast, livestock that is sold at auction in Malton, is reloaded onto trucks and taken to York, or County Durham, or West Yorkshire, to be slaughtered, therefore doing nothing to reduce the distance that livestock is transported, or reduce so-called “food miles”.

The origin and destination of livestock sold in Malton is recorded in the market reports, and, although I am not a vegetarian, the logistics are unpalatable.

Below is an extract from the publicly available Malton livestock market report, May 1, 2018: “The top price per kilo of 263.5ppk was for three heifers this week. The first was a 22 month old Lim x from JR Gardiner Ltd of Carnaby weighing 525kgs and selling to Worsley Wholesale Butchers of Leeds and the other two were lim x from J & R Waind weighing 550 and 575kgs and selling to JA Jewitt Ltd of Spennymoor and Worsley Wholesale Butchers.”

Contrary to the claims made by Mr Housden, the selling of livestock in Malton directly contributes to an increase in “food miles”, and increases the number of times that livestock is handled, and transported, before reaching its final destination to be killed.

In short, Malton livestock market, due to the absence of an onsite abattoir, is bad news for animal welfare, and RDC members should not invest a single penny of our money in this dying practice.

Simon Thackray, Brawby

Correction needed

I WISH to correct Lorraine Allanson’s mistaken statements.

Para. 5.134 of the draft North Yorkshire minerals and waste plan accepts that each fracking drill pad will be two hectares in area.

Para. 5.137 of the plan accepts a density of fracking drill pads of 10 to every 100 square kilometres. This equates to 10 every 38 square miles – an area just a little bigger than six miles by six miles.

Take both paras together and you have drill pads, each two hectares in area, every one and a half to two miles in every direction. This equates to approximately 50 drill pads over the Vale of Pickering - not 10 or 12 as Lorraine would have us believe.

When density of drill pads was debated at the public examination into the draft plan, those in the oil and gas industry would not accept either paragraph.

The plan also proposed some other modest restrictions on fracking in order to balance the interests of the industry against people’s concerns.

The industry was not prepared to accept any of these, and within days of the end of the hearing, before the inspector, they met senior government officials and within five weeks the Secretary of State issued an edict, which is clearly intended to prevent residents or their businesses having the benefit of any of the modest restrictions set out in the draft plan.

I obtained Counsel’s opinion from Marc Willers QC, and he advises the edict is unlawful.

Unfortunately, the authorities who might have been expected to take action are not prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

I have accordingly raised funds to take legal proceedings against the Secretary of State.

Court papers have been served and I would ask all residents to support my appeal at

Cllr Paul Andrews, RDC Malton Ward

Traffic lights query

COULD someone please explain why the council highways department put up traffic lights when they are not working on the road - is it just to annoy motorists?

I refer to lights just outside Pickering on the road to Thornton-le-Dale.

There has been no work carried out over the weekend. No holes in the road or footpath. No pile of soil obstructing any part of the road.

The traffic lights have nothing between them but a small barrier guarding nothing. Surely the council could ensure they are removed when not required for safety.

Margaret Kirby, Pickering