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NEWS - April 2018

Here at Manor Orchard, Spring has definitely sprung

Spring is traditionally lambing time. Our first lambs arrived during the night on March the19th, a text book delivery, lovely calm mum, strong lambs. Mum set about licking the first one clean, guided her towards the milk bar and got on with the business of delivering the second lamb. She had a pure white ewe lamb and a ram lamb, he was white with a black nose and black eyeliner. Within minutes both lambs were clean and taking their first drink, while Mum, who had lambed many times before, stood guard over them in her pen. This time, probably for the first time in her life she was in the shelter of a barn, in a pen with deep straw, with help at hand if she needed it.


How many people stop to think that the millions of lambs born in early spring, have lost that precious life before the autumn leaves begin to change colour?

Our lambs will keep their life, they will stay with mum for as long as they choose.

Our lambs will never be chased onto a lorry, taken to a market or a slaughterhouse, or have to face that final journey across the water to end their short life in a foreign abattoir.

Why are we lambing? Last year, with the help and dedication from an RSPCA Officer and our Vet we successfully presented evidence that resulted in a local man being prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering to these ewes. He was given a lifetime ban, a fine and a suspended prison sentence.

He was ordered by the Court to dispose of all his animals. With the help of our sister organisation, the Goodheart Animal Sanctuary we were able to raise the funds to buy all of the ewes and his old, weary but obviously very fertile ram.

Had we not bought them the alternative for these animals would have been to be sent into market, where the chances were, because of their age and condition they would have been bought by a dealer and sent for slaughter.

These "elderly" ewes, considered to be past their best at around 5 years of age, or when they begin to lose a tooth or two, have earned no loyalty points. They are no longer profitable, farmers can't afford to be sentimental although many that we've talked to dislike the thought that their animals will almost certainly be shipped across to Europe or delivered to a Halal slaughterhouse in this country.

Speaking to a local farmer recently he told us of a recent practice that was happening with some farmers and will probably eventually become routine. Following scanning, those ewes who were found to be carrying one lamb were sent for slaughter as they were "non-profitable".

And people still want to know why sheep need sanctuary?


Joining our other small alpaca herd this month we found space for Flicka and Goliath, two friendly, middle aged Alpacas. They were dearly loved, where do owners go to make sure their animals are looked after when they can no longer carry on doing it? They found us, and we were happy to help.

Freda the pig

If anyone deserves a good home, it’s Freda. When we found this lovable pig, she was belly-deep in slurry, her only shelter, a piece of broken tin. Thankfully, the sanctuary was able to give her a home for life. But after sheltering residents for more than 20 years, that home is now falling apart. We’ve patched it up as best we can, but it’s not going to last another year. Before long, showers will threaten her warm, straw bed.

Hosanna’s field shelter is worn out too. She’s facing some of the wettest months of the year without a sturdy roof.


old shelters and ideal shelters


We dearly want to see all our animals live in comfort. But recent weather has shown we need to act quickly. We need to raise £25,000 to replace some of our old pig arks, fencing, field shelters and the aviaries our hens and rabbits call home. Help us give them the homes they deserve. They might not look like much, but for animals like Freda and Hosanna, their home is everything. Whether it be a bare metal cage, a crowded barn or a filthy pen, many of our residents were rescued from terrible conditions before arriving at the sanctuary. You can make sure they live out the rest of their lives in contentment and peace. They don’t ask for much. Help us give them the home they deserve.

It’s supporters like you that have made our work possible. If you’re able to help, please click the donation button below. Thank you.



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