Farmers urged to fill sheep breed survey before deadline

The survey seeks to explain the structure of the UK sheep industry
The survey seeks to explain the structure of the UK sheep industry

Sheep farmers across the UK are being encouraged to complete the British Sheep Breed Survey 2020 before the 11 January deadline.

This investigation into the UK breeding flock has been undertaken since 1971 to record the number of sheep within each breed, their distribution and mating structure.

The last survey took place in 2012 and its report showed new breeds that were not recorded previously, the changing influence of crossbred ewes and rise of certain terminal sire and lowland breeds.

AHDB, British Wool, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Signet and Quality Meat Scotland have produced the latest version of the survey.

Nia Davies, research officer at HCC said: “The breed structure of the UK sheep sector continues to change as we meet the changing demands of the industry.

"We hope that the results of this survey will show us exactly how things have evolved so that the impacts of the last eight years can be investigated."

The form asks for details of the ewes put to ram and a summary of the rams used, as well as the number of lambs sold from the 2020 lamb crop and the sheep sold for breeding in 2020.

“We look forward to analysing the results which will help us to understand the changing landscape of the sheep sector,” Ms Davies added.

The research will also assist British Wool to keep the wool grading system relevant and as such, aim to add value to producers’ wool over the medium to long-term.

Replacement copies of the survey, as well as the 2012 survey report, can be accessed online.