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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Moffat Sheep Event

July 5th 2017: On the 13th of August some unlucky sheep may have hand-knitted jockeys strapped to their backs and then be forced to run around the streets of the town of Moffat in Scotland. This breaches the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and we are trying to stop it.

Trading Standards,
Dumfries & Galloway Council

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write concerning the Moffat Sheep Race due to take place on August 13th.

This involves strapping large stuffed dolls to the backs of sheep then forcing them to run along a tarmac road while a crowd of 5,000 people cheer them on.

You don't have to be an expert to realise that this is going to cause the animals unnecessary fear and stress and puts them at risk of injury by making them run along a tarmac road.

This may well contravene the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act of 2006. Section 24 of the Act requires that an animal is kept in a suitable environment, is able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns and needs to be protected from suffering (including mental suffering such as fear and stress), injury and disease. A town street is not a suitable environment for a sheep and racing other sheep with a stuffed jockey on its back is not a normal ovine behaviour pattern.

I ask your Department to intervene now and advise the organisers to abandon this event before any criminal offence is committed.

Yours faithfully,

John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line