A new industry checklist has been produced to ensure that shearers, wool handlers and farmers in the UK work in partnership to keep everyone operating at safe distances, with practical measures being put in place to allow shearing to continue whilst protecting everyone’s safety.
It will not be business as usual this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and everyone must be extra vigilant to keep safe, whilst ensuring that animal welfare is protected.
Gareth Jones, Head of Producer Marketing at British Wool said: “We have been working together with industry partners to provide support to farmers, shearers and contractors for the season ahead. The outcome and response from the industry so far has been fantastic, as a large number of shearers, wool handlers and contractors have already listed their details on the Shearing Register. With the process of connecting people across the UK underway, these new measures aim to keep everyone involved in shearing safe, by using the Shearing Checklist.”
Jill Hewitt, NAAC Chief Executive added: “It will inevitably be a slower, more difficult shearing season this year but risks must not be taken, and co-operation, collaboration and patience will be vital. We are likely to have a shortage of shearers and careful planning will be essential to make certain that, when shearers are on-farm, the process of handling sheep and shearing is efficient and that everyone works together to make the process run as smoothly as possible.”
Numbers of overseas shearers are expected to be very low and the industry is asking UK shearers to get involved in this national effort to get the UK flock shorn and protect animal welfare. Industry organisations are encouraging farmers to get in touch with their usual contractor to organise their shearing but to be prepared that the season may be longer than in a ‘normal’ year.