Sheep - what are we doing?

RSPCA welfare standards for sheep

We have developed detailed RSPCA welfare standards for sheep, which contain hundreds of requirements to ensure that higher standards of animal welfare are met at all stages of their lives. For example, there are requirements covering all areas that might affect sheep welfare including food and water provision, flock management, environment, health, transport and humane slaughter.

Engaging with decision makers

We take every opportunity to put forwards are views and concerns for the welfare of sheep to decision makers, including government, retailers and farmers. For example we gave a presentation at an expert workshop on the welfare of extensively farmed sheep and contributed to the resulting report. We are also a member of the Sheep Health and Welfare Group in England. This group contains members from all parts of the sheep industry, and is designed to identify the major issues affecting sheep health and welfare in England and seek to improve these conditions through a series of industry wide initiatives

Using scientific research

Scientific evidence is very important when trying to find practical solutions to welfare problems and to develop the RSPCA welfare standards and RSPCA view. In the past we funded research into foot rot control methods, and commissioned an educational video outlining the various conditions causing lameness in sheep, how to diagnose them, treat them, prevent them and even eradicate them completely.

Reducing livestock worrying by dogs

We worked with the National Sheep Association and National Farmers' Union to distribute signs and educational posters throughout England and Wales asking dog owners to keep their dogs on leads and under control near livestock.

Find out how you can help to make a difference to the lives of sheep too.