Official Society Show & Sale Regulations


The Society conducts official Society Sales alongside the following Auctioneers:

Oban Livestock Centre Market – Oban – 01631 570631
United Auctions – Stirling – 01786 473055

Closing Dates for Entry

You should check the Highland Cattle Society website for exact details of closing dates but as a general rule closing dates are usually 8 weeks prior to the sale date. The Society will not accept entries after the closing date.

Conditions of Sale

The Sales are conducted under the General Conditions of Sale, which are exhibited in the Mart and in accordance with regulations approved by The Highland Cattle Society. Notwithstanding any other sale conditions, cattle will be sold subject to the National Beef Association Male and Female Breeding Warranties, as amended by the Highland Cattle Society with particular regard to the Highland breed. These Warranties contain provisions by way of exclusion and limitation of liability in favour of the Vendor and the Auctioneers.  The attention of sellers and buyers is particularly drawn to a change in the bull breeding warranty (trial period) Clause 4.2

Copies of which are available free of charge from the Highland Cattle Society, Stirling Agricultural Centre, Stirling FK9 4RN.  Telephone:  01786 446866 Email:

All animals purchased at Society Sales must be paid for in full on the day of the sale. Credit cards and cash will be accepted. Arrangements to transfer money in advance of the sale can be made direct with the auctioneer. NO ANIMAL WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE MARKET UNTIL FULL PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED.

Entry Conditions

All Bulls, Cows, Heifers, Calves and pure Highland steers are accepted for entry under the regulations pertaining to the Sale of Pedigree Highland Cattle as drawn up by the Society.

  • All animals entered for the Sale must be pedigree and registered or accepted for registration by the Highland Cattle Society.

  • All animals entered for Sale should be the bona fide property of the Vendor and must be bona fide exposed for sale. Animals not bred by the Exhibitor must be registered in their name with the Society. No substitution of animals entered in the Catalogue will be permitted.

  • Each animal needs one primary and one secondary tag, both showing the same unique individual identification number. The primary tag must be a yellow plastic, distance-readable flag tag. It can go in either ear. The secondary tag must be in the other ear. It must have the same information as the primary tag, but may also contain management information. If you add management information, it should not affect or confuse the official identification information on the tag. It is a criminal offence to transfer ear tags between animals or to re-use an identification number that was given to another animal. It is also illegal to move or sell cattle which are not properly tagged with their unique number.

  • All Highlanders born before 1st January 1998 entered for sale must be tattooed in the right ear (or left ear where specially mentioned in the catalogue) with a Herd mark (consisting of three letters), a year letter, and a number.These tattoo marks and the registration number of the animal will be printed in the Catalogue.Animals not properly or legibly identified will be disqualified from the sale.

  • Purchasers must verify tattoo marks and official identification marks before taking delivery of their purchases and if any earmarking or identification irregularity is discovered, the animal in question may be rejected. Sellers must stand by their animals until the identity has been checked.

  • Immediately after the purchase is declared the risk of the animal shall be exclusively with the Purchaser save that in the event of an animal being rejected as in 3(b) the risk shall remain with the seller.

  • Cows in the last 10% of pregnancy (approximately 27 days), or that have given birth in the last week, are considered not fit for transport, and are also unfit for presentation at market.

  • A calf with a navel which is not completely healed is considered unfit for transport.

  • Cattle must be handled and transported separately from other species. Immediately after the purchase is declared the risk of the animal during transportation shall be exclusively with the Purchaser. The following separations must also be applied:

  • Cattle of significantly different sizes or ages

  • Sexually mature males from females

  • Animals with horns from animals without horns

  • Animals hostile to each other

  • Tied animals from untied animals

Fees & Levies

  • Entry Fees:  Entry is free of charge. Health Declarations and Certificates of Pedigree must accompany the entry form. 

  • A levy of £2 per animal is payable by the purchaser and due to the National Beef Association.

  • Market Levies: Please contact the relevant auctioneer for details on their levies


Every registered pedigree highland bull is subject to a rigorous inspection / assessment to continue to improve the breed and ensure ongoing customer confidence. To ensure consistency and equality this assessment is carried out at the registration stage.  Full details of the content of the assessment at registration stage will be issued in 2017. If any member has an issue with an animal forward at an Official Society sale they must inform the Chief Steward and they will appoint a fieldsman who has no connection with the sale to investigate the matter. If necessary a vet may be called to help them in their decision. The Chief Steward and the Fieldsman will speak to the owner in confidence regarding the action they deem appropriate.

Data Collection

With effect from February 2017 the Society will use the Official Society Shows and Sales to gathering information that can be stored centrally and used to promote the breed to external organisations. They will record the weights of 2 and 3 year old bulls and take a measurement of height. No 2 or 3 year old bull will be eligible for the sale unless its weight and height has been recorded.

Yearling Bull Classes

The yearling bull class ages will remain the same e.g. for Oban February 2017 (01/01/2016 – 30/04/2016), however since these animals are only birth notified due to their age they will not be eligible for the Championship. They will be entered in the catalogue by just their ear tag numbers to indicate these bulls would need to be fully registered and DNA checked prior to being used as a pedigree bull. Calves born to a sire that is not fully registered (birth notified) and vet and DNA checked cannot be registered with the Society.

Aged Bulls

Many of the aged bulls have been shown and sold at Oban during their prime and therefore the Aged Bulls will not be eligible for the Championship and council have introduced an upper age limit of 7 years old on the day of the show.

Sale of Champions

The Champion and Reserve Champion of each section will be sold as per the catalogue on sale day. Yearling bulls and Aged bulls are not eligible for the Championship. In all other markets the Champions will be sold as per the catalogue.

Sale Order

With effect from February 2017, the order of sale has been changed. The sale will commence with the two year old bulls, followed by the three year old bulls, aged bulls and finally the yearlings.  

Health and Safety

  • All market Health & Safety rules and regulations must be followed.
  • All animals are at the risk of the vendor before sale and at the risk of the purchaser after sale.
  • All animals over the age of 6 months must be rung or snitched.
  • Young people under 14 years of age are not permitted to lead an animal in the show or sale ring. The only exception to this rule is within the dedicated young handler classes and Highland Cattle Society Youth Development Workshops. In such events additional health & Safety measures will be adopted.
  • Young people aged 14 – 16 years old can parade an animal in the show and sale ring as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
  • All electrical appliances at the market must be PAT tested prior to the show / sale. 
  • Fans must be securely fastened at all times.

Health Status

Please note all cattle forward at sales must have been IBR and BVD (Antigen & Antibody) tested. All cattle however lose their accreditation status once they have entered the market premises. To regain status without affecting other cattle of higher status they must be isolated and retested either at the buyer’s premises or the seller’s premises (if unsold).  To minimise the risk of cross infection on the market premises cattle for sale from a fold where all the animals are tested on a whole herd bases are segregated from animals with no health status.  Animals tested on an individual basis are segregated from other animals of higher status and no status, if this is practicable; otherwise they are penned with animals of no health status. Animals consigned for an official sale held under the auspices of the Society who have failed any test, whether as part of a whole herd basis or as individuals, should be advised to the office of the Society and should not be presented for sale.  Cattle vaccinated for Blue Tongue must be accompanied by a Declaration Form.

Any animal showing anti-bodies must be notified and a declaration will be added to the catalogue note.



Highland Breed

Animals must be quarantined for 28 days prior to testing so please remember to allow plenty of time. Health Test Results Certificates must be sent to the Highland Cattle Society Office, Stirling Agricultural Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN at least three weeks prior to sale. Anyone requiring information/advice please contact David Hyland on 07825 232092.

The four diseases currently available for control in cattle are: -

  • IBR - Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis – Attested Cattle
  • BVD - Bovine Virus Diarrhoea – Attested Cattle
  • Johne's disease, (Paratuberculosis) - Attested cattle
  • Leptospira Hardjo (Lepto) - Attested cattle

The UK is officially free of EBL - Enzootic Bovine Leucosis (EBL).

Cattle tested for any of the above diseases on a whole herd basis are described appropriately in the Index of Sellers. Please refer also to the Animal entered for the sale note section for any animal being privately tested.  In view of the complexity of the health regulations buyers should seek to establish the current health status of any animal whose purchase is being considered by prior consultation with the seller.

Vendors must ensure that the correct health documentation (a photocopy of the current health certificate) accompanies each animal upon arrival at the mart to enable mart staff to direct them to the correct penning area. Failure to do so will result in their cattle being sold at the end of the sale.

Health Status (Overseas potential purchasers)

All overseas purchasers must ascertain the health status of the animal they wish to purchase prior to the auction and make the necessary arrangements for export prior to purchase. It is advisable that anyone interested in purchasing cattle for overseas export should contact their own Intra-Trade Animal Health Authority. 


The particulars shown in the Catalogue are furnished by the Vendors and are believed to be correct, the Society accepts no responsibility for any mistake or error therein. Vendors must intimate before or at the time of the Sale any mistake or misprint in their entry.  The Society does not accept any responsibility for the health status of animals entered in the catalogue.  The health status in the sale catalogue is not warranted by the Society.  Sellers consign animals to the market premises entirely at their own risk.

Calves Sold at Foot

Bull calves at foot must be properly identified, birth notified and eligible for registration in the Herd Book.

Heifer calves at foot must be registered in the Herd Book unless otherwise stated. In the Autumn and Spring sales all calves must be sold with their dam unless they are 6 months old on the day of te show.

Appendix Animals

Females of unknown pedigree, but accepted, by inspection, as being of True Highland type, are eligible for entry in Appendix B of the Highland Cattle Herd Book.  Only female progeny out of Appendix females, and by registered Highland bulls, are eligible for entry in the Herd Book. Female calves from Appendix B cows are entered into Appendix A of the Herd Book, and female calves of Appendix A cows are entered into the Herd Book proper. No male progeny out of Appendix females can be accepted for entry in the Herd Book.  Highland Cattle accepted for entry into either of the appendices are identified by the addition of the suffix 'B' or 'A' to the ear tag denoting the appropriate appendix.

Stock Arrival at Market

Stock may be delivered to market early by arrangement with the auctioneers.

Fodder and Utensils

Vendors must provide their own fodder, feed stuffs, drinking utensils and grooming equipment. Items including bedding can be purchased from the market staff.


All animals will be numbered ON ARRIVAL at the sale premises and must remain numbered throughout the show and sale. It is the responsibility of the vendor to be present and to check each animal is correctly numbered and penned and sold in catalogue order, unless any alteration is authorised by the Auctioneers.


Unless there is a specific class listed in the schedule all animals entered for Society sales must be halter broken. Please note if an animal is not led, washed, groomed and correctly presented for show and sale they will be moved to the unhaltered section with no refund of entry fee at the discretion of the Chief Steward.  Any animal deemed not to be under proper control of the handler may be asked to leave the show ring at the discretion of the Chief Steward.

Exhibitors should be smartly dressed and wear a white coat during the show and sale. The white coat should be buttoned up. Exhibitors will be called forward in class order. Please listen to the public address system. Each class will be judged in numerical order.

Cattle of different health status will be brought forward to and from the show ring using separate pathways where possible.

Spectators are requested not to obstruct passageways and entrances to the show ring.

Halters & Bull Rings

All cattle entered for the sale except Highland steers must be halter broken and provided with a serviceable halter which will become the property of the purchaser. All cattle over the age of 6 months old at the time of the sale must have a ring or snitch with them after the sale.

Removal of Stock

All animals must be left with water and fodder after the sale. All vendors and purchasers must remove their stock from the market by the deadline set by the auctioneers. The Auctioneers accept no responsibility for stock left on their premises. No animal may leave the market without first being checked by the market staff. All transportation must be washed out and clean prior to the transport of any animals leaving the market. The only exception would be if a vendor was transporting solely their own animals, returning to their own holding, as not sold. Prospective purchasers are strongly advised to make their likely requirements as to numbers and destination known to the Auctioneers well before the sale date so that suitable haulage arrangements can be made.


The Auctioneers will carefully execute commissions to purchase on behalf of buyers unable to attend the sale in person upon receipt of written instructions.


Buyer's numbers will operate for all Society sales and all prospective buyers should obtain a number from the accounts office before they make any purchases. The same number should be used throughout the market.


Settlement in full for all stock purchased is due immediately at the close of the sale and before the stock is removed from the pens.


There is a minimum bid in place for Two Year Old and Three Year Old bulls of 1200 guineas. Vendors shall have the right to fix a reserve price for any or all of their entries. Such reserve prices must be notified to the Auctioneers in writing on the day of the sale at least thirty minutes before the commencement of the sale.  Animals, which fail to reach the reserve price fixed by the vendor, may be sold by private treaty after the auction where the price can be freely agreed between seller and buyer. Full commission and levy will be charged on all such transactions, which must pass through the Auctioneers.

Highland Cattle Pedigrees

Buyers are reminded to retain the Sale catalogue. The short pedigrees of cattle offered for sale have been verified by the Society and are adequate for most practical purposes.

Change of Ownership

Change of ownership at official Society sales is recorded only on receipt of a Buyer’s Declaration Form.


Purchasers are reminded that all documents relating to the animal/s purchased must be uplifted from the market prior to leaving. The market cannot accept any responsibility for documents which may have to be posted out from the market.