Shedded sheep are kept in group pens or in individual stalls within a large shed for up to five years.
Wool from shedded sheep is premium ultra-fine wool and it makes up about 12% of the Australian wool market.
By housing sheep indoors it is possible to have more control over their wool. The ability to manipulate the nutrition of the shedded sheep means it is possible to produce wool that is several microns finer than it otherwise would be.
Controlling nutrition is the most effective way to produce ultra-fine wool. However, it comes with problems:
•Feeding may be restricted to a bare minimum of energy required to maintain life.
•The nutritional value of the feed can be very poor.
•Restricted feeding affects a sheep’s digestive function.
•Shed rations are small, especially if they are pelleted.
•Daily rations are eaten quickly, leaving nothing to do all day.
•A sheep’s natural behaviour is to graze for 50% of each day.
•Behavioural problems often develop to compensate for boredom in sheds.
Sheep are intensely social animals and being part of a flock is fundamental to their wellbeing.
•Sheep suffer acute stress due to change of environment and diet.
•Sheep are stressed by the lack of flock structure and space to move.
•Stress continues because sheep cannot escape from the stressors
•Long-term confinement and chronic stress lead to changes in a sheep’s normal behaviour.
Behavioural problems seen in shedded sheep include:
•Chewing slats, bars, buckets or pen fixtures
•Mouthing air and repetitive licking
•Panting (without heat stress)
•Obsessive movements such as rearing, butting, leaping and weaving.
There needs to be laws made to ban part of the wool industry, It is cruel and unnecessary.
Shedded sheep (also known as 'sharlea sheep') are confined in sheds in individual or group pens for five years or more.
They are fed the bare minimium amount of food needed for survival.
Keeping sheep confined in dark sheds, seperated from each other and kept starving is blatant animal cruelty and must be stopped.
Sheep need to have access to green pasture and other sheep, as they are flock animals and become stressed and develop behaviour problems otherwise.
I am asking you to please develop stricter animal welfare laws when it comes to how sheep are housed and fed.
For the full details on shedded sheep, please visit http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-are-the-animal-welfare-issues-with-individual-shedding-of-sheep_114.html