FUW and industry groups draw up new shearing guidelines

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has collaborated with various industry organisations to produce a new set of guidelines for shearing, in order to “protect sheep from pests and diseases”.

The group says that shearing is a “highly skilled process”, and is “essential” to cut down on the likelihood of disease and infections.

For this reason, the union has produced a set of guidelines on the practice, with input from industry groups; the aim of the guidelines is to ensure best practice so as to promote the health and welfare of the animal.

The FUW is reminding farmers and contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately while they are being sheared.

“Sheep farmers in Britain adhere to rigorous scientifically-validated animal welfare regulations and this guidance reinforces the commitment by the industry to ensure that shearing is conducted to very high standards,” said Hazel Wright, the FUW’s animal welfare officer.

“We welcome a joint industry approach on this issue to ensure the best possible welfare for sheep during the shearing process,” she added.

According to a statement from the FUW, the new guidance reinforces best practice at “every step, from the presentation of sheep on-farm through livestock handling and ensuring the process is well-planned, organised and calmly implemented”.

The FUW says that retaining skilled, professional shearers is “essential” if the practice is to continue to be carried out in a skillful manner.

The FUW’s new checklist will cover the entire procedure of shearing, and will, according to the group, assist farmers in the planning of the shearing process.