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Animal Concern Advice Line News

Llandovery Sheep Festival Sheep Races

August 25th 2017: Following their successful campaign to stop a sheep racing event in Moffat ACAL are now trying to stop a similar event in Wales.

Councillor Emlyn Dole,
Council Leader,
Carmarthenshire County Council,
County Hall,
Carmarthen SA31 1JP

Dear Councillor Dole,

I write concerning the Llandovery Sheep Festival which takes place on the 23rd and 24th of September. Of particular concern is the sheep race which forms part of that event. I have copied this e-mail to whom I believe are members of your staff and fellow Councillors whose remit will involve them in this issue. I would be grateful if you would bring this e-mail to the attention of any others of your staff or colleagues for whom it is relevant.

As the enforcing authority I ask your Council to inform the organisers of Llandovery Sheep Festival that their proposed sheep race will contravene the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and therefore cannot take place.

Under Section 9 (2) of the 2006 Act any person responsible for the welfare of an animal must ensure they meet:
(a) its need for a suitable environment,
(c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
(e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Please note that under the 2006 Act “suffering” means physical or mental suffering which includes stress and fear.

I ask you to view this short video clip on YouTube, the last few seconds of which show the Llandovery Sheep Race from last year:

The video shows six or seven sheep with toy jockeys strapped to their backs being chased along a town street by three men while crowds of noisy people cheer them on.

You don't have to have a degree in ovine behaviour studies to know that a busy town centre street is not a suitable environment for sheep, wearing toy jockeys while being chased along the street by three men is not a normal behaviour pattern for sheep and the whole scenario will cause these animals to suffer substantial fear and stress. This sheep race is not a bit of harmless fun but a criminal offence.

I request that Carmarthenshire County Council take immediate steps to ensure this sheep race does not take place.

Yours sincerely,

John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line