Livestock Conservancy: Sheep Shearing Video – How and Why

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The Livestock Conservancy is thrilled to announce the release of our short film, How to Shear Sheep & Why It’s Important. Directed by Jody Shapiro, the compelling 12-minute film showcases the beautiful dance between sheep and shearer, the importance of sheep shearing to the health and well-being of sheep, and the impact that Slow Fashion and local wool have on the economy and local community.

Watch How to Shear a Sheep & Why video

The film begins with an introduction by Dr. Temple Grandin, award-winning author, animal welfare advocate, and Lifetime Member of The Livestock Conservancy. Throughout the film, viewers will

  • Meet expert shearers and rare breed sheep
  • Learn tips on the best way to shear humanely, including preparing sheep for shearing and best tools for the job
  • Understand why shearing is important for the health of the sheep
  • Watch the art of humane sheep shearing
  • Discover how you can support a sustainable industry and help save rare sheep breeds from extinction. (Hint – it’s by supporting those that raise them, shear them, and make products from their fiber)
We hope that after watching this film, you will feel an appreciation for the art of humane sheep shearing and why it is so vital to the health of sheep. Please watch and share this video with your communities. We need your help spreading the word about why shearing is an important part of conserving rare breeds!

To learn more about our work with rare breeds and why conserving them is important for maintaining biodiversity and food security, visit our website at https://livestockconservancy.org/.

Thank you to Isabella Rossellini, Executive Producer of the film and Ambassador for The Livestock Conservancy for her generous gift that made this project possible. 

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The Livestock Conservancy is a national non-profit membership organization working to protect more than 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction.

Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative
Interested in helping save rare breed sheep from extinction? Want to support shearers, shepherds, and the slow fashion movement? Sign up as a Fiber Artist to craft for a cause. This initiative encourages knitters, spinners, weavers, felters, and other crafters to use fiber from rare breed sheep in their projects. Using their wool puts sheep back to work on farms across the U.S. Enroll online at https://livestockconservancy.org/get-involved/shave-em-to-save-em/

Why is genetic diversity important?

Like all ecological systems, agriculture depends on genetic diversity to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Genetic diversity in domestic animals is revealed in distinct breeds, each with different characteristics and uses. Traditional, historic breeds retain essential attributes for survival and self-sufficiency – fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts and resistance to disease and parasites. As agriculture changes, this genetic diversity may be needed for a broad range of uses and opportunities. Once lost, genetic diversity is gone forever.

What are Heritage Breeds?

Heritage breeds are livestock and poultry breeds raised by our forefathers. These breeds were carefully selected and bred over time to develop traits that made them well-adapted to the local environment and they thrived under farming practices and cultural conditions that are very different from those found in modern agriculture.

Heritage animals once roamed America’s pastoral landscape, but today these breeds are in danger of extinction. Modern agriculture has changed, causing many of these breeds to fall out of favor. Heritage breeds store a wealth of genetic resources that are important for our future and the future of our agricultural food system.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Emily Rose Johnson
ERJohnson@LivestockConservancy.org
(919) 542-5704

Editor’s Notes:

Watch video and learn more at https://livestockconservancy.org/resources/how-to-shear-a-sheep-and-why/

Photos and interviews available upon request.

Livestock Conservancy Shave Em to Save Em Campaign

Rules

Although not mentioned in the rules, providers (which must be Livestock Conservancy members) can not sell conservation breed wool that is not from their own animals (per correspondence with the Livestock Conservancy late 2018).

Fiber Artists:

This is a great program to help save rare breeds of sheep and also to learn more about the characteristics of their fiber.  Even if you don’t pursue the program you can search through our member listings to locate those near you who are raising rare breeds on the Livestock Conservancy lists.  By purchasing products from them you are also helping to preserve these rare breeds.  For a list of breeds see the next 2 links below.

Heritage Sheep Brochure – 2 pages, lists breeds included

Heritage Sheep Breeds List by Conservation Priority Status (annually updated web page)

Flyer for Providers Promoting Program to Fiber Artists

 

For full info see the Livestock Conservancy website:  http://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/involved/internal/SE2