Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Lambs to The Slaughter

At 7am on the 10th January Tod loaded 160 lambs onto this lorry to send them off to be slaughtered in Wales. The lambs were sold through the May Hill Sheep Group and will end up on the shelves of Sainsbury's marketed as 'Cotswold lamb'. The lorry will hold about 400 lambs on 4 decks, which totals about 18tonnes of lambs. After they have been processed there should be about 8800 kg's of sheep meat worth to the farmer £19,360. By the time it reaches the supermarket shelves the total valve of the meat will be in the region of £52,000. Next time you pass a lorry full of livestock on the motorway have a think about that! Whilst I'm on the subject of slaughter I watched the 'Kill it Cook it Eat it' programs on BBC3. I didn't have a problem with the suckling pigs. The veal calves I thought were a appalling as the following animals could see their mates already dead, which did not put farmers/industry in a good light at all. The milk fed lambs which, were no more than 3 weeks old (the youngest) and 8 weeks old (oldest) also had a very disturbing end to a short life. At first the electrical tongs did not work so they were dispatched with a bolt gun, after much stress, they too could see the fate of the siblings already dispatched. I don't think it did the trade in younger animals any favours at all to the general public, although there will always be a selection of the market wanting these niche' products.

On a lighter note we scanned the ewes for the March lambing at 180% which is about normal for us and similar to those around us. You can come and see those lambs being born at our farm open day on the 29th March.

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