New ways to increase Europe’s sheep… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Sheep generation in Europe is on the decline – which means the EU is now

Sheep generation in Europe is on the decline – which means the EU is now importing extra sheep meat than at any time. That’s why an EU-funded task is bringing Europe’s primary sheep manufacturing nations around the world jointly to build new answers and most effective techniques. As a final result, farmers across Europe are currently observing an improve in both sheep generation and profitability that will also advantage people.


© Paul Steven #316843808, 2020

Sheep meat and milk generation is an important business in Europe, primarily in nations around the world like Eire, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United kingdom. In point, with eighty five million sheep on 830 000 farms in the EU, plus an additional 33 million sheep in Turkey, Europe’s flock is more substantial than Australia and New Zealand’s put together.

Nevertheless even with this large amount of sheep, Europe is only 85 % self-ample in sheep meat. As a final result, the EU is the world’s second largest importer of sheep meat.

At the rear of this hole in self-sufficiency is a declining sheep business. Considering the fact that 2000, the amount of sheep producers in the EU has declined by 50 %, and throughout the earlier ten a long time sheep productivity has lessened by up to 40 % (relying on the country and the farming program). 

“Different components can describe this decline, but the most important just one is minimal sheep productivity, or the amount of lambs reared for each ewe joined on the farm,” says Jean-Marc Gautier, Chief of Company at France’s Institut de l’Elevage.

Nonetheless, even with this damaging craze, Gautier sees sizeable prospects for improving upon sheep productivity. “By improving upon reproduction achievements and lamb survivability, we can boost farm profitability and improve the self-sufficiency of sheep meat in Europe,” he says.

Supporting sheep farmers leverage these prospects is the EU-funded SheepNet task, a community of the EU’s primary sheep manufacturing nations around the world and Turkey. “Working with scientists and shareholders, the task designed and shared answers for rising generation with out owning to export excess sheep meat,” adds Gautier.

Making sheep generation extra eye-catching

The project’s most important goal was to obtain an improve in ewe productivity of .1 lambs reared for each ewe joined. This would be the equivalent of 64 000 tonnes of sheep meat, hence ensuing in a internet self-sufficiency of 92 %. Also, farmers would obtain an approximately EUR ten improve for each and every additional .1 lamb marketed for each ewe joined.

“We are self-assured that these variations will make sheep generation extra eye-catching for both the current and upcoming generations of producers,” describes Gautier.

To obtain this, the task worked right with farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Collectively, they discovered answers and most effective techniques for improving upon ewe productivity and flock profitability.

“These answers focused on everything from diet administration throughout late pregnancy to colostrum administration, will cause of lamb mortality and abortion, artificial rearing, ewe overall body condition rating, and sheep shed administration,” says Gautier. “We also created a lambing stock and strategy for superior ram administration.” 

In whole, the task developed forty two answers, 88 tips and tips, and 22 factsheets. All of these deliverables are accessible via the SheepNet neighborhood system in 6 languages. Each individual features in depth data on predicted charges and gains, prerequisites, references, and responses from genuine farmers.

Having a big impact

With these answers in hand, scientists upcoming turned in the direction of dissemination. “SheepNet is all about observe-driven innovation and functional understanding sharing,” remarks Gautier. “Through our community, we promoted the implementation and dissemination of progressive systems and techniques for improving upon sheep productivity.”

Dissemination routines provided the organisation of 5 workshops for each husband or wife country (35 in whole), plus 5 transnational workshops and a final summary seminar. Other routines provided the generation of 19 press releases, 143 posts, one hundred twenty movies, and 33 infographics – not to point out the use of several social media platforms.

According to Gautier, SheepNet’s answers are currently owning a big impact. “We’ve obtained sizeable responses from farmers telling us how they are applying our community and answers to boost flock productivity, labour effectiveness, and farm profitability,” concludes Gautier.

Based mostly on the project’s achievements, scientists released EuroSheep, a spin-off Horizon 2020 task focused on sheep health and diet. They are at present doing work on a new precision livestock farming initiative.