Sheep can live 10-12 years.
lambs are often slaughtered at just 4months old…
It may seem as though sheep and lamb escape from the horrors of factory farming as they are free to roam around in the fields. However, farming is a commercial venture and their lives are far from as nature intended. Naturally sheep come into season in the autumn or winter, so lambs are born in the warm spring months. Attracted by high prices for early lamb, farmers change this cycle using hormones or controlling access to daylight so lambs are born earlier – even December with many not surviving the cold. A shocking 4 million lambs die of exposure within a few days of birth.
Naturally sheep have usually one, sometimes two lambs. Ewes are now bred to give birth to too many lambs and they don’t have the strength or reserves to feed them all.
Male lambs are castrated and lamb tales docked using a rubber ring to cut off the blood supply. Lambs are caused pain and distress for a month with no effective pain relief. Other methods include clamp, knife or hot iron – all normally without anaesthetic.
Lambs are very independent at birth and form strong bonds with their mothers, recognising each other by their bleats. Lambs lives are short: they are often slaughtered at 4 months, some as young as 10 weeks. Sheep can live 10-12 years. Even ewes are now slaughtered between 4 & 8 years. At just a few weeks old, lambs are separated from their mothers, each desperately bleating to the other destined to never see each other again.
Sheep may be transported long distances to their deaths via live exports. It’s a hugely stressful experience. Heat stroke, heart attacks, dehydration and deaths are common. They can be transported for over 10 hours without rest.