Ruminant Health & Welfare (RH&W) has unveiled the UK Sheep Welfare Strategy for 2023-2028.

RH&W Chair, Gwyn Jones, says the goal is to 'deliver high welfare and encourage the adoption of good practice on all sheep farms across all four nations in the UK'.

Jones envisions evidence based progress in six crucial sheep welfare areas and argues that these improvements will not only enhance productivity but will also reduce the sector's carbon footprint.

The six welfare goals include healthy feet, appropriate body condition, thriving lambs, collaborative flock management, positive welfare, and sheep comfort.

Phil Stocker, National Sheep Association chief executive and RH&W steering group member, said: “This strategy will provide great ammunition to drive forward the sector across a wide range of welfare improvements over the next five years including the licensing of analgesics, influencing Government support programmes, and conditions in transport and at slaughter.

“The strategy contains a five-step plan for delivery, which includes a commitment for routine meetings with a working group representing all stakeholders so we can agree an action plan for each of the six goals."

With over 95 organisations and businesses endorsing the strategy, Gwyn remains hopeful: "We hope to see this backing empowering sheep farmers and producers to keep pushing forward with good welfare."