The True Price of Lamb
The lambing season is a time of year that is definitely not about little cute white animals gambolling in the fields at the side of their mothers but a time of extreme suffering and death.
The number of deaths that the farming world find acceptable is huge. Mike Huskisson of the Animal Cruelty Investigation Group says,”Hundreds of thousands of lambs and ewes die at this time.” A hauler of dead livestock tells Janet that,” I am out constantly picking up dead ewes and lambs from farms for the three months of the season.”
The farmers have to breed so many, in fact too many, to break even. Consequently the ewes do not get the attention that they need. Most young ewes are left to lamb on their own often in bad weather with no one there to supervise the births. Many of these ewes and their lambs die simply because no help is coming for them. To die giving birth is horrendous and can take a long time with no release except death when it eventually comes.
Many ewes simply give birth to too many lambs and do not have the strength or reserves to feed all of them. So they have to make a choice, one or more must be left to starve to death. Even in the snow this can take some time.
Adam, a lamb now at the Sanctuary was rescued from a field of dead and dying ewes and lambs, the dead being eaten by foxes. Adam was stood by the partially eaten bodies of his mother and his sibling. These animals were dying from a combination of starvation and a total absence of care when giving birth.
Fortunately not all farmers are cruel.
The plastic packets of meat in the supermarkets and adverts at the roadside for half a lamb or a whole lamb do not reflect in any way the suffering. The cute pictures on Easter and other cards do not reflect the death toll.
The ewes and lambs do not have a choice but the consumer does. If you have to buy meat it is more humane to source it locally. Shop at Marks and Spencer or Waitrose. They insist on high welfare standards from their suppliers. A lot of meat stamped Freedom Food Approved has been exposed as having the most appalling welfare standards. Better still don’t contribute to this industry at all.
Please support us to help us continue to fundraise for these forgotten animals.
Please support the campaigns run by Compassion in World Farming, VIVA, Animal Aid and Hillside Animal Sanctuary.