Not only do 10 to 15 million newborn lambs die every winter lambing season, many mothers suffer horrifically giving birth.
Mother ewes are genetically selected to unnaturally birth multiple lambs. This genetic selection is increasingly important to the financial success of farming lambs and sheep.
However, this can lead to up to six lambs being born to a mother, and nearly guarantees at least twins or triplets, which results in a far higher death rate.
Mothers who are genetically selected to have as many babies as possible are more likely to exhaust themselves during birth. This causes many of them to become ‘downed’, meaning they are unable to stand on their own.
Some of the complications that result from these multiple births include mothers prolapsing and dying, leaving orphaned lambs who are unable to fend for themselves.
When flocks are not monitored regularly enough, as is often the case, dead bodies are left amongst live sheep and lambs. Their bodies lure foxes and birds of prey closer to the flock, and this endangers those who may already be vulnerable due to difficult births, downing, hypothermia, starvation, neglect, or orphaning.
Downed ewe mothers and struggling babies are then more likely to be preyed on and attacked, and can suffer having their eyes pecked out as well as being eaten alive by predators because they are unable to protect themselves due to their poor condition.
Downed mothers also die as a result of slow starvation because they are unable to access food.
This cruel cycle is anything but natural, these mothers suffer like this because they are being pushed beyond their natural limit for the sake of profit.
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