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Stackyard News Oct 2012

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British Texels Head to Switzerland in New Export Deal

More than 30 British Texels from leading flocks across the south of England have headed to Switzerland in the latest export deal for the breed to Continental Europe.

The consignment of Texels being unloaded in Switzerland

Texels being unloaded
The sheep, a mix of rams and shearling ewes were selected earlier this summer by a delegation of Swiss breeders who visited a number of farms looking for Texels with good breed character coupled with excellent muscling and strong performance figures.

Consignors in the export deal were Tim Healy of the Wealden flock, Sussex, who sent two shearling rams and seven shearling ewes; Ed Samuel of the Hendre flock, Herefordshire, who sent two shearling rams, a ram lamb and three shearling ewes; Trinidad investments of the Colwood and High Weald flocks, Sussex, who sent two shearling rams and seven shearling ewes; and Aubrey and Sue Andrews of the Miserden flock, Gloucestershire, who sent two shearling rams and six shearling ewes.

This latest export deal follows sales of live sheep to France, Belgium and Germany earlier in the year along with a large export of semen to Brazil in the spring, explains British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates.

"The interest in the British type of Texel continues to grow on mainland Europe and many of the breeders coming here to source new bloodlines are impressed by the massive strength in depth the breed offers and the progress made with performance recording.

"With such a diverse gene pool in the British Texel flock there is something to suit every buyer and that is clear from the impressive range of sires included in the genetics of this export consignment, with no fewer than 12 different sires represented in the 32 sheep present."

Mr Yates says performance recording data is growing increasingly important to export buyers who recognise the massive strides made by British breeders in relation to both growth rate and muscling in Texels. "Understandably overseas buyers like the reassurance that performance recording can give them when it comes to finding the best performing bloodlines available."

The Society will be continuing the export drive with a stand at next month's Eurotier exhibition, Hanover, said Mr Yates.

"Eurotier is the largest livestock event in northern Europe and attracts an audience from across the world all eager to learn what they can to help improve their own breeding programmes. The Society has seen excellent demand off the back of previous attendance at this event and I fully expect more export orders to follow in the coming months and years as a result of the continuing investment in promotion at home and abroad."

It’s all good news for British breeders and is clear recognition of the exceptional work they’ve done in developing the breed since its first importation into Britain nearly 40 years ago, he added.

“We’ve worked hard in recent years to ensure the world knows about the quality of the British Texel and the demand for British genetics is now being seen across the globe. The Texel breed’s strength in depth in the UK and the variety of phenotypes on offer here means we have something to suit every market and are well placed to serve export markets in the future.”

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British Texel Sheep Society