150mm (6”) spacing livestock fencing has been the industry norm for many, many years. C8/80/15 and HT8/80/15 patterns make up a good percentage of the UK fencing market and have always been a popular choice for sheep fencing. But as more and more stories are highlighted of sheep getting their heads trapped in 150mm fencing, we take a look at this topic with EstateWIRE manufacturer ArcelorMittal Sheffield.
“We see stories being shared on fencing forums of sheep in some cases being seriously injured by their heads being trapped in stock fencing” started Shaun Gervis, ArcelorMittal Sheffield’s Head of Sales. “Animal welfare is high on people’s priorities and we are seeing a growing call for 150mm spacing products not to be used to contain sheep”.
There are two alternatives to prevent this issue. The first is to use narrow spacing fencing making it impossible for the sheep to force their heads through the mesh, but doing this significantly increases the weight and therefore the cost of the product.
The second alternative is to use fencing with wider spaces so the sheep can pull their head back through the fence more easily. Although more difficult to manufacture because of the wider meshes, 225mm and 300mm spacing products are much more sheep friendly.
“We already have within our standard product range a number of 225mm and 300mm specification fences and we have seen over the past 12-18 months that these types are becoming more popular” commented Shaun.
ArcelorMittal have always stocked these products but following their increasing rise in popularity, they have analysed their sales and increased stock levels so their customers can be confident these products are available off the shelf just as the 150mm products are.
“It is important we listen to the market and move with it as it changes and evolves” remarked Shaun. “150mm fencing has historically made up a large part of our sales but we are ready to move with the market. Animals getting stuck in fencing is distressing and can be extremely costly to the livestock owners so this evolution can only be a good thing all round” he concluded.