The Suffering of the Lambs

by Sara Starkey

As a vegan of 30 plus years – for the very reasons that animals had to suffer for my palate – I read this story with great sorrow.  Not just because the ewes and lambs are dying in this weather but that they are bred to die anyway.

As the Farmers’ Union of Wales policy director says:

“There must be a fall in the lamb CROP (my emphasis) and an increase in prices.”

That is exactly what these animals are ….a CROP.  Farmers went on putting ewes to the ram last summer and autumn even after torrential rains, reduced grass on the sodden land, reduced harvests and higher animal feed costs.  Even knowing this, farmers went on breeding huge numbers of lambs and then want the tax payer to pay for this extra fodder. Which will be scarce and at a terrific premium due to that on going weather…..

Even in ‘normal’ weather 1 in 5 lambs die from disease, hyperthermia and malnutrition –  that is approx 4 MILLION LAMBS a year.   (So I find it fascinating that these farmers are claiming they normally send all their dead animals to the knackers at a cost of ‘up to £20’ per animal. Hmm!).

While the farmers are counting the cost ((financially) of losing so many sheep to cold, wet and now freezing weather, the lambs and sheep have still being going to the slaughterhouse by the hundreds of thousands a month:

Defra figures for slaughter:



Ewes and Rams



Other sheep and lambs



Then there are the tens of thousands sheep still, today, being sent live from Ramsgate to the rest of the continent after horrendously long journeys without food and water.

Over TWO MILLION and 344 THOUSAND sheep have been slaughtered in the last two months in the UK.

So to those who find the pictures of dying and freezing sheep upsetting….this is but a tiny bit of the extremely depressing outlook for the animals.

As to those who think we have ‘humane’ slaughter here in the UK – why not watch some undercover footage of ‘humane’ slaughterhouses in this country.….undercover footage from 8 slaughterhouses randomly chosen.  Seven of the eight had appalling treatment meted out to the animals going to slaughter.  Burnt with cigarettes, beaten, electrocuted on the face, nose and elsewhere so they had electric shocks but were not stunned. That is the fate for so many of these animals who ‘make’ it alive from this weather.

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