Waitrose buys macs to protect lambs

Lambs in plastic jacketsIf you are driving through Wales of the West Country, don't be surprised if you see lambs kitted out with waterproof coats.

Supermarket chain Waitrose has sent out 30,000 "lamb macs" designed to protect the baby sheep from the harsh weather conditions to farmers in the area who supply its meat.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

The move, caused by concerns about the impact of the snow on little lambs poorly equipped to cope with such conditions, comes after consultation with the farmers affected about how Waitrose can help them - and their lambs - get through this freezing Easter period.

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "Waitrose has been working closely with all their farmers to assess the impact of the snow on lamb supplies."

However, not all farmers are lucky enough to have buyers who provide them with support of this kind, and lambs in some parts of the country have been dying of the cold.

According to retail specialist The Grocer, farmers around the UK have reported lamb deaths as a result of the unseasonable weather, which has hit the UK just as the Spring lamb season is in full flow.

Lamb - and animal - lovers will therefore be pleased to learn of the Waitrose scheme, which is in keeping with its "commitment to achieving the highest standards of quality, food safety and animal welfare".

The Waitrose website states that its lambs are otherwise "reared on open pastures, with shelter for harsh weather, on a natural forage diet, supplemented with hay or root crops when grass is in short supply".
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