SHEARING is essential for reducing the likelihood of disease and those parasitic infections which cause health and welfare problems for sheep.

Industry organisations have joined together to produce detailed guidance on sheep shearing. 

The aim of the new guidance is to remind farmers and professional contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately during shearing.

Sheep keepers in Britain adhere to rigorous, scientifically

validated animal welfare regulations and this guidance will help ensure that shearing is conducted to very high standards.

The guide explains and emphasises everyone’s responsibilities, so that every step from the presentation of sheep on farm, through to livestock handling and the shearing process is well-planned, organised and calmly implemented.

Dafydd Jarrett of NFU Cymru said: “The Government’s sheep welfare code states that you should remove the fleece from all mature sheep at least once a year. 

“Many farmers are qualified shearers in their own right, whilst others choose to use professional contractors, but all seek to ensure the highest standards of welfare are constantly met”.

Phil Stocker, CEO of the National Sheep Association (NSA) commented: “Wool is one of the most natural and sustainable fibres on earth and the practice of shearing is an essential part of the process that also improves the welfare of sheep. 

“This industry guidance is a valuable checklist that will help farmers and shearers to prepare in advance so that the entire operation goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible”.