Sheep farming is one of our most traditional types of agriculture. The UK sheep industry has bred a fascinating range of different sheep breeds over the centuries, each suited to the particular land and weather conditions in different areas of the country.
Because sheep are usually seen grazing in wide-open fields, people often have fewer concerns about their welfare than for some of the other types of farm animals. Although sheep often have plenty of outdoor space in which they can behave normally, very good standards of management and stockmanship are really important to ensure that they do not suffer from problems such as disease, accidents, and bad weather conditions.
Some sheep can also be very fearful of humans and unfamiliar situations and so particularly careful and considerate handling and high welfare standards are vital during procedures such as shearing, dipping, transport and slaughter, to ensure they do not suffer.
We’re working in a number of different ways to try to improve the lives of as many sheep as possible.