Proposal for an alternative method for ageing sheep at slaughter

Closed 31 Oct 2019

Opened 19 Sep 2019


We want your views on our proposal to amend English and Welsh legislation on ageing sheep for the removal of certain body parts at slaughter. Sheep over 12 months of age need these parts to be removed to protect public health. The amendment would allow abattoirs to choose an alternative method for determining the ages of sheep. At present abattoirs count the number of a sheep’s permanent teeth to decide its age. Under our proposal, they would also have the option of a system based on the date. Sheep submitted for slaughter up to 30 June in the year after their birth would be considered to be under 12 months old.

If you would like to keep in contact with us to express interest in this, or any other Defra consultation, please give us your details through the link below


  • Abattoir Operator
  • Consumer Groups
  • Retail Industry
  • Stakeholders


  • Animals
  • Sheep and goats
  • Sheep, goat and deer production/marketing
  • Meat Industry