Sir, – 'Of course wool is not as ‘cruel as fur’' declared a headline in The SF articles, September 7 issue.

Not strictly true. Just think how cruel it is for sheep farmers as they spend their summer weeks looking out for a dry day to shear their sheep. And when they do get dry weather there is all the stress, back pain and cost of getting their sheep clipped – all to be paid a pittance for the wool product that they have worked so hard to produce.

There is a remedy to all this cruelty and injustice – and that is wool-shedding sheep.

Think of what you could do with all that extra spare time (and probably money too). Maybe you could even do something radical like go on a summer holiday, instead of doing the annual clipping?

I appreciate that not all grazing land will support wool-shedding breeds, but if you have suitable grazing then why not try wool shedders? There are various types around, including those developed from the likes of NC Cheviots, Texels etc.

I introduced Easycare wool-shedding genes into my hill-type NC Cheviot flock some time ago and have absolutely no regrets about doing so. The sheep lose their wool when it suits them (so no shock to the system at going bare on a chilly day), ewes don’t go on their backs and fly strike rarely, if ever, happens.

With Easycare genetics, my lambing has been so much easier than it used to be with my other conventional breeds. Problem births have been few and far between.

And – the bit that really matters – my lamb prices at store sales have been as good as (and often better than) the average price for other comparable-sized breeds.

So, if you can, be kind to yourself rather than cruel and go wool-shedding.

William Forbes

Milton of Farr,