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Flooring Show In Harrogate

CONCERN has been expressed about the welfare of nearly a dozen sheep kept in a small enclosure outside the main entrance of the Flooring Show in Harrogate this year.
The sheep pen (pictured right) was located alongside traffic lights on one of the town’s busiest junctions – Kings Road and Ripon Road on the A61 – which has a constant stream of noisy traffic, including buses and lorries, with exhausts pouring out loads of pollution.
While the dry and sunny weather was a bonus for the show visitors, it meant that during the hottest part of the day the enclosure was in direct sunshine with nowhere for the sheep to go to find shade.
Although the sheep were given a bucket of water and a packet of hay for food, the artificial grass within the enclosure was badly fouled by the animals’ excrement.
And while the sheep generally appeared in good condition, they were occasionally startled by people leaning over the railings trying to take pictures on their iPhones.
The presence of the sheep also attracted the attention of children clamouring for a close up view, and passers-by, some of them walking their dogs, a few of which growled or snarled at the startled sheep.
British Wool, which sponsored the presentation, described the animals as ‘show sheep’, which were accustomed to appearing at agricultural shows and other trade events.
British Wool also gave the assurance that the farmers were mindful of the welfare of their ‘livestock’ and would not allow the animals to become distressed.
Nevertheless, a number of the sheep were seen to be lying down breathing heavily at various times during the day.
Although the unusual live display was clearly designed to illustrate the origins of wool, staging it in a hot, busy and noisy town centre could not have been in the animals’ best interests.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at