Coronavirus: Matchmaking service to help shortage of sheep shearers

Industry organisations have come together to deliver a matchmaking service for UK shearers and contractors, as it is unlikely that overseas shearers will be able to travel to the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC), with the NFU, NFU Cymru and other farming bodies, has launched an online register to bring together shearing contractors and skilled, proficient shearers.

With overseas shearers covering about 20% of the national flock, the industry is trying to utilise UK shearers as best they can to fill this resource gap and complete the shearing season. 

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NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle said:

“Shearing sheep is an essential part of maintaining high animal health and welfare, and it is more important than ever that the industry workers together to get the job done.
“UK shearers are going to have to cover more ground this season, but this matchmaking service should help identify where there are gaps in resource and provide solutions.
“I urge contractors and shearers to register to the service, and I ask farmers to plan ahead and get in touch with their contractor as early as possible.”

Organisations involved include:

  • National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC)
  • NFU
  • NFU Cymru
  • British Wool
  • Farmers Union of Wales (FUW)
  • NFU Scotland
  • National Sheep Association (NSA)

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