'Trapped' Sheep Could Face Cull

UK - Tens of thousands of sheep from a breed only produced in Kent and East Sussex could be culled because of restrictions on moving them. Farmers said 100,000 Romney sheep were trapped on the marsh because it falls on the wrong side of the bluetongue control zone imposed on Sunday.
calendar icon 2 October 2007
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The unique Romney sheep have been exported across the world

The Romney sheep are normally moved out of the South East in the autumn before grass on the marsh stops growing.

"The government is working to find a solution," said Kent MP Jonathan Shaw.

"We know farmers are faced with huge pressures but we do have to have strict measures in place to stop the spread of diseases."

Mr Shaw, a minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said it had to be guided by veterinary and scientific experts.

Romney Marsh farmer Trevor Richards, who produces about 800 lambs a year and has 500 breeding ewes, said: "This is a unique sheep-producing area.

"I don't think the government or Defra realise how unique we are and what an important time September and October is for selling these sheep.

Source: BBCnews
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