Animal Care & Welfare

Animal welfare is more than just an ethical decision; it is imperative to successful business.

American’s sheep farmers and ranchers are dedicated to the job of looking after their animals and keeping them healthy. Ranchers are always looking towards the best available animal practices to ensure good economic management of their business and optimum results in their produce.

The routine care of sheep includes far more than providing fresh air, water, and food. It includes providing protection from predators, and a full regimen of preventative care including shearing, vaccinations, nutrition (pasture management and supplements), and birthing assistance. This humane and proactive approach provides uncompromising welfare standards for sheep that provide American Wool and lamb.

The American Sheep Industry Association promotes the training of proper sheep handling and shearing.

According to the American Society of Animal Science:

As long as there are sheep, shearing must be practiced for the health and hygiene of each individual animal. Unlike other animals, most sheep are unable to shed. If a sheep goes too long without being shorn, a number of problems occur.

  • Excess wool impedes the ability of sheep to regulate their body temperatures. This can cause sheep to become overheated and die.
  • Urine, feces and other materials become trapped in the wool, attracting flies, maggots and other pests. This causes irritation, infections and endangers the health of the animal.
  • Sheep with large amounts of wool can become immobilized by physical obstacles in their path and are more susceptible to predator attacks.

Resources

Sheep Care Guide (pdf)
Sheep Quality Assurance
American Wool Assurance
IWTO Wool Sheep Welfare

Animal Welfare with Dr. Temple Grandin

How To Handle Sheep Video Series

This 3-part video series by Dr. Temple Grandin details the process of handling sheep from the farm to the processing plant. English and Spanish versions are available.

 

Menu