Scotland’s Sheep Farmers Battling the Weather

Scotland’s sheep farmers are battling through the worst winter in living memory to give the latest crop of newborn spring lambs as good a start in life as possible.

As snow continues to fall, lambing across the country is now in full swing forcing the nation’s shepherds to work flat out looking after their ewes and lambs.

Regular reports from around Scotland of the hardship being faced by many sheep producers and their stock because of the ongoing poor weather are being received at Union headquarters.

NFU Scotland’s President, Jim McLaren said:

“There seems little justice when our hard-pressed sheep farmers, having come through four months of the hardest winter on record, are hit with horrendous snow falls just as the season’s peak lambing time arrives.   These farmers will be working around the clock to keep their ewes safe and fed and ensure that every lamb born gets the best chance of a good start in life.

“Even before the latest snow, our sheep farmers were entering this lambing season on a low ebb.  The prolonged winter means that many looking after their flocks outdoors have already borne a huge workload and the additional expense involved in providing large quantities of additional feed to tide their ewes over the past few months.  

“For those who lamb indoors, the damaged wreaked on farm buildings by earlier snowfalls has already seen many of those flocks forced into temporary accommodation.  The recent Scottish Government assistance provided to help erect or rent short-term housing for ewes is most welcome although the deterioration in the weather has presented further difficulties in getting new structures up in time for lambing.

“But despite the prolonged hardship, every farmer is going the extra mile to keep their stock cared for in challenging, and at times dangerous circumstances. 

“Such efforts fully justify a fair reward from the marketplace when our sheep farmers come to sell those lambs this coming autumn and winter.   Indications are that supplies of lamb at home, in Europe and in key sheep-producing nations such as New Zealand are going to be tight.   It is a back-breaking slog for our sheep farmers at the moment but I hope that market prices later in the year fully justify their tremendous efforts in keeping their ewes and their offspring going in what has been the worst of winters.”


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006



Date Published:

News Article No.: 56/10

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