European sheep researchers go down under to discover best practices

 SRUC will host a webinar giving an overview of the New Zealand sheep industry.

Members of a European sheep network, which shares knowledge and expertise on flock nutrition and health management, have visited New Zealand to identify best practice in these areas.

EuroSheep, which was initiated by SheepNet, enables knowledge exchange based on the industry’s current needs between stakeholders in Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece and Turkey - representing 80 per cent of sheep production in Europe.

Dr Brid McClearn, from Teagasc in Ireland, visited New Zealand with members from another EU thematic network – Sm@RT: Small Ruminant Technologies – led by Claire Morgan-Davies at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

New Zealand has 25.7 million sheep, is a major exporter of sheep meat and wool and has recently initiated a dairy sheep industry.  

The objective of the visit was to identify best practices in flock health and nutrition from the large meat, wool and milk sheep flocks in New Zealand, which operate in a range of climatic conditions.

Dr McClearn and colleagues visited farms with flock sizes of between 800 to 29,000 sheep on both the South and North islands where she interviewed farmers about the health and nutrition management of their flocks.

She will present a compilation of these interviews, along with an overview of the New Zealand sheep industry, in an online webinar hosted by SRUC on 20 April from 1-3pm.

It will include information from farmers who have forward sold their wool for ten years, manage flocks of up to 30,000 sheep and manage meat sheep flocks with 2000 ewes per labour unit, as well as from new entrants into dairy sheep production, producing milk from outdoor flocks.

This unique webinar will be presented in seven languages simultaneously with participants also offered the opportunity to ask questions.

To register for the webinar, visit:

More information about Eurosheep can be found at:

Posted by SRUC on 13/04/2023

Tags: Agriculture, Sheep and Goats
Categories: Research