UK Farmers Rescue Sheep Stranded After Heavy Snowfall

Created: 2013-03-27 13:13 EST

Category: Life

The snowy weather in the United Kingdom is causing serious problems for farmers in Wales and Scotland.

Livestock farmers fear thousands of animals have been killed in heavy snowfall over the weekend. Many of the animals get stuck inside huge drifts and freeze to death before help can arrive.

On the hills above Bryneglwys in North Wales, Gareth Wyn Jones, has spent the last three days trying to save some of his livestock. Like many farmers he's been using his sheepdog to sniff out the stricken sheep.

[Gareth Wyn Jones, Sheep Farmer]:
"Well, you know, it's the third day for some of these sheep under there, they're heavily pregnant, they're weakened and carrying a lot of snow on them. It's not a nice scenario and I think the dog's just found a sheep he's digging up there now, so we'd better make a move quickly."

Sadly it's not often he finds any of his animals alive and many have given birth while trapped under the snowdrifts.

[Gareth Wyn Jones, Sheep Farmer]:
"You know this lamb's just been born and he's frozen solid to the ground. The sheep is under the snow here. It's heart-breaking."

The situation is much the same in Scotland where sheep farmer Willie Evans lost 30 of his sheep in snowdrifts. With food deliveries being cancelled, he's now having to ration the food he gives to the animals that have survived. And he says a whole year's work has just disappeared over a weekend.

[Willie Evans, Sheep Farmer]:
"It really has been hellish. This snow has brought a big burden of work. You're digging out dead sheep which is really soul destroying."

It is estimated there are thousands of sheep and cattle yet to be found by their farmers and more bad weather is on the way, according to forecasters.