Sheep have particular requirements which cannot be ignored if their welfare is to be acknowledged.
The behavioral and physiological needs of sheep are not well understood or acknowledged by the general public.
In order to maintain both their physical and psychological health and well-being sheep must be in close contact with other sheep; especially their ‘mob mates’. Being very social animals their instinct to mix with other sheep is in part reliance on each other for protection.
It is accepted that the denial of expression of natural behaviours is not just in violation of the 5 basic animal freedoms, but causes abnormal and extremely disturbing psychological behaviors.
Even so, the fact that individually caged sheep are kept in such unnatural and abhorrent conditions fails to affect the many ultra-fine wool industry players that profit from such unmitigated suffering.
When most people think of sheep, they imagine them in paddocks roaming around in a large group, usually with their heads down eating. We certainly don’t imagine sheep locked in sheds forced to exist in an area so small that only one animal at a time can live in each pen, unable to touch each other so the much needed physical contact is denied; standing on wooden slatted floors and enduring ‘grazing deprivation’.
However, this is exactly what occurs at the Horsham Wool Factory in Victoria, Australia.
We imagine this: