Many Swedish Lambs Never Outdoors

A news survey concludes that every fifth lamb in Sweden is never given the chance to be outdoors but goes directly to the slaughter house to meet growing demands from the market - especially with the Easter roast lamb tradition here.

The survey was carried out by Swedish Radio News and the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Veterinarians say that high-intensity production here deviates from large-scale sheep farming in Ireland and New Zealand - where most animals are put out to pasture.

The vets also warn that limited indoor space for the ewes and new-born lambs increases the chance of spreading diseases and that stress factors can result in lambs refusing to eat - loosing weight and even dying.

At the same time, Swedish agricultural authorities have o.k.ed a concession to the ban on egg transplants in ewes to allow experiments with imported eggs of a new breed of sheep from Canada - producing a cross-breed with more muscles and meat - and very little wool requiring shearing.

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