Australian example shows sheep are vital to health of hills | News | Farmers Guardian

Many foreign NGO’s in Georgia are opposed to the development of the sheep industry, believing that sheep methane emissions may contribute to global warming, and that grazing of mountain habitats is necessarily destructive. Local satellite studies funded by the Danish government of Georgian stock routes indicate no significant evidence of overgrazing. Almost two centuries of data from Australia support the assertion that carefully managed grazing can be beneficial for the natural environment. From

Australian example shows sheep are vital to health of hills | News | Farmers Guardian

THE National Sheep Association (NSA) says UK governments should follow the lead of Australia, where top-level environmental strategists have backtracked in recent months and acknowledged the importance of sheep in conservation management.

The NSA believes while some environmental bodies in the UK have realised the importance of sheep, there are still too many examples where limited stocking numbers or a total ban on grazing is putting biodiversity and environmental sustainability at risk.

It also creates major hurdles for farmers trying to run efficient and profitable businesses, as well as preventing them optimising production in an era where a rising world population is putting food security at the top of the agenda.

The situation has been similar in Australia – although the virtual disappearance of one bird species means sheep farmers are now being welcomed back with open arms.

Over the last 20 years the Government and various environmental groups purchased more than 11,000 hectares (around 27,000 acres) of farmland in northern Victoria to stop sheep and other livestock grazing there.

However, after 150 years of living alongside livestock, numbers of some species dropped dramatically when the sheep disappeared, particularly the endangered Plains Wander bird (similar in size and appearance to a quail) and some plant species that cannot compete with dominant and invasive grasses.

via Australian example shows sheep are vital to health of hills | News | Farmers Guardian.


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