RSPCA rescues stray sheep with 20kg fleece

By Jamie Salter

An abandoned roaming sheep has been rescued by RSPCA Victoria following a report from a member of the public.

The single sheep was roaming on a property in Redcastle in July, about 26 km south of Colbinabbin, with no apparent flock or owner.

Upon arrival at the unfenced and heavily wooded area, RSPCA Victoria inspectors located the sheep and found it was carrying an enormous fleece.

The sheep was shorn after capture, yielding a fleece weighing 20 kg.

It is suggested the ewe had not been shorn in about four years.

After veterinary checks were completed, the sheep was named Ewenice and sent to a new home in Geelong.

RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate head Terry Ness said the case illustrated the commitment of RSPCA to address every cruelty report received, regardless of the type of cruelty involved.

“Carrying such a large fleece for an extended period of time would have had dire impact on this ewe’s welfare and quality of life,” Mr Ness said.

“It was fantastic to see her transformation after shearing and to send her on to her new home.”

The fleece of sheep breeds specifically grown for wool production must be removed regularly as the wool grows continuously and they are unable to shed it.

Sheep are typically shorn at least once a year in spring and can suffer from poor health and hygiene if neglected.

In severe cases, excess wool impedes the ability of sheep to regulate their body temperatures, which can cause them to become overheated and die.

● People with animal welfare concerns can make a report to an RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate by phoning 9224 2222 or by visiting: