What is the Sheep Health and Welfare Group?

The Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG) is an independent body with membership that reflects the range of organisations involved in the sheep industry.  It acts as an extremely useful link between representatives of the sheep industry with Government departments and their agencies.

SHAWG was established in 2009 and has financial support from AHDB Beef & Lamb. One of the main projects in 2017 is communication to help reduce antibiotic use on sheep through best practice advice.

The second edition of the Sheep Health and Welfare Report 2018/19 is now available. Download your copy here.

SHAWG’s main objectives are:

  1. To reduce the impact of endemic disease by acting on surveillance data and new knowledge
  2. To ensure the industry is aware of the threat of any new or re-emerging diseases
  3. To promote and encourage responsible use of medicines, including anthelmintics and antimicrobials
  4. To ensure welfare is maintained as a priority for the sheep industry
  5. To highlight the role of nutrition in good health and welfare
  6. To deliver an integrated approach with all stakeholders, allied support industries, retailers and Government

SHAWG is also responsible for the organisation and running of the  Sheep Health and Welfare Conference

The makeup of SHAWG supplies an immensely valuable resource for the sector, providing a wide ranging and deep knowledge of sheep health and welfare, and collaborating on behalf of the sheep farming industry for the benefit of flock health and welfare. Find out who our members are.

SHAWG has established a set of Terms of Reference to ensure that the work we do remains targeted and does not duplicate work that others in the sector are already undertaking.


Sheep Antibiotic Guardian Group

The Sheep Antibiotic Guardian Group is a sub group of SHAWG. It is responsible for coordinating the activity around antibiotic use in the sheep sector and report on behalf of the sheep industry to Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).

Current out puts of this group are:

  • Calculation of metrics for benchmarking antibiotic use of sheep farms (Download PDF)
  • Guidance for veterinary surgeons and farmers on responsible use of antibiotics in sheep (Download pdf)

The group is chaired by Fiona Lovatt with Charles Sercombe as the RUMA liaison and AHDB providing the secretariat. Group membership includes: National Sheep Association (NSA), Sheep Veterinary Society (SVS), National Farmers Union (NFU), Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).