28 July 1995


THE time is right for the UK to host the World Sheep and Wool Congress. The industrys stratification system is a fine example of the range of production systems employed by flockmasters and the "feel good" factor flows freely.

But is it a false sense of security? Rumours are circulating that ewe premium will bring in £21 a ewe this year. This will influence the bottom line even further, and may persuade some producers to neglect areas of their business which can be controlled from the sheep shed, rather than in Brussels.

There are other issues which must be addressed. Eradicating sheep scab springs to mind. Taking issue with scrapie is another task, although one breed society has shown initiative by identifying resistance through genetic fingerprinting.

At the same time it is important to nurture all breeds. This will ensure our sheep industry has the material to meet any market which presents itself in the future.