Mule sheep groups to unite in effort to promote breed

The five main Mule breeds of Britain are in the early stages of forming a promotional body to market all types of Mule sheep as the premier breeding female.

The Mule Group aims to pool resources of the Scotch Mules, North of England Mules, Welsh Mules, Cheviot Mules and Highland Mules to relay a consistent marketing message to farmers.

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All five societies will continue to operate separately, but will share the same marketing message, championing the Mule’s four key attributes:

  • Adaptability
  • Unrivalled hybrid vigour
  • Profitability
  • Maternal characteristics

The Mule Group’s newly-appointed chairman and sheep breeder, Derek Hall, Lilyburn, Penicuik, said the group’s goal was to canvas commercial buyer opinions and get marketing momentum.

“Nobody goes forward by standing still,” said Mr Hall, of the Firth flock of Bluefaced Leicesters. “We have a mandate to work on the behalf of a lot of mule breeders to offer a clear and consistent marketing message to our consumer base.”

In a statement, the Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders Association said it fully supported the new body, which was marketing breeding females that all had the Bluefaced Leicester as a sire.

“If Mules are a good trade, then Bluefaced Leicesters are a good trade,” added Mr Hall. “We have some competition and rivals now, whether it be Texel-crosses, Innovis-type brand, Lleyns or others.”