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Song released in bid to stop sheep races

Section:  Moffat  | Tags: ,

“WE’RE pulling out all the stops to get this race cancelled” — says the creator of a petition against next weekend’s Moffat Sheep Races.

So far the campaign to see the August 13 event axed on the grounds of animal cruelty has reached over 80,000 signatures.

And the woman behind the petition, Samantha Francis, says she’s not giving up and has even penned a song with her husband, Joshua, called “I’m The Lamb” to further urge people to back the petition.

The song uses lyrics like “Oh don’t ya think sheep, Already had enough grief, Lay off it, Moffat, just for me, I’m the Lamb.” And was downloaded to YouTube this week with a video featuring Joshua performing the song.

Meanwhile Samantha, whose efforts saw a similar event cancelled at a church fete in Cambridgeshire after she amassed 40,000 supporters, before turning her attention to the Moffat race, has received support from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

And she has penned letters to Dumfries and Galloway Council and Moffat Community Council urging them to pull the plug on the event.

However she says if the race goes ahead a formal protest will not be held on the day. She said: “I cannot organise a protest myself as I live in the south of England, so it’s a bit of a journey.”

Despite her efforts, the organisers say the show will go on.

Sarah Ottewell, of Moffat Promotions Group, said: “We have run Sheep Races in Moffat for the last five years.

“The event, like many similar events around the world, reinforces the traditions and importance that animals have within the rural communities of many countries.”

She explained that before the inaugural event, the group consulted widely with shepherds and animal welfare experts.

She said: “We did this to make sure that we would not be harming the animals. Since then, the event has gone ahead extremely successfully every year.

“Each year the event has been carefully planned to ensure the health and safety of the sheep, as well as of the community audience, who enjoy the various components of the event, including a thriving farmers market, children’s entertainment area, street entertainers, as well as the races themselves.”

She added: “Since their inception, there have been no complaints, and we have had no worries about how the event is conducted.

“This does not mean that we are not continuously reviewing and improving how we manage the event, taking guidance from relevant bodies, and, in particular, animal welfare experts. We do this year on year, and this year has been no exception.”


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