Producing clean sheep can be difficult during the winter months. If fleeces are contaminated with manure and soil at the point of slaughter, there is a real risk of meat becoming contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E.Cola & Salmonella.
Research has shown that dirty contaminated fleeces will dramatically increase the risk to human health.
Aiming to keep outdoor finished lambs as clean as possible should become a major priority.
Sheep cleanliness is affected by diet, housing, sheep health, weather conditions, & soil type during in the winter months.
Outdoor finished sheep will be dirty if kept on poorly drained fields and heavy soil types. Good advice would be:
• Keep on dry fields,
• Move feeders regularly to dryer ground,
• Dag lambs when purchased or at weaning,
• Keep lambs in small groups to minimise poaching on the soil,
• Ensure there are a good parasite control,
• Avoid very wet lush grass, if so introduce some dryer feeds to prevent scouring,
• Ensure that there are clean water supply at all times
• Always make changes to the diet gradually,
• For housed sheep ensure that the house is well ventilated & floors are kept dry & ensure that all sheep have access to feed,
• Regular cleaning & disinfecting of handling pens will help reduce the risk of fleece contamination,
• Ensure when transporting sheep that they are not over loaded & that the transport of animals regulations is upheld.
For further information please use the following link on the presentation of clean sheep for slaughter.