Sir, – Having watched the Blackface ewe and gimmer sale at Lanark online on Tuesday and being a lifelong champion of the breed, spending my working years shepherding the great hill ewe, I have to wonder what on earth some breeders are thinking?

As if hill farming itself isn't threatened enough, the breed we rely upon to thrive in the hill and mountain areas of Scotland is being slowly but surely ruined and yet some still can't understand why many traditional hill farms who still tup and lamb ewes on hill ground are moving away from the Blackface breed. Sadly, many are now no longer fit for the purpose intended and it is nothing short of a travesty – and yet it is celebrated and encouraged.

I refuse to believe there are not Blackface breeders out there who agree with my feelings on the matter. Maybe it's about time they stood up and challenged these breeders before the traditional breed characteristics are lost forever. It won't be long before it's too late.

Disappointed former hill shepherd

Name and address supplied.