Sheep replace cars as they cross Madrid en route to winter pastures

This article is over 3 months old Lentil cart crosses La Spanish country to make journey to Scotland Sheep replace cars as they cross Madrid en route to winter pastures Thousands of sheep in…

Sheep replace cars as they cross Madrid en route to winter pastures

This article is over 3 months old

Lentil cart crosses La Spanish country to make journey to Scotland

Sheep replace cars as they cross Madrid en route to winter pastures

Thousands of sheep in Madrid were placed in a cart and propelled on a donkey-drawn cart across the city to an estate on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, making the 200-mile journey across the country to the south-west.

Fifteen brand new shearing machines cut a swath through the sheep on Saturday as they meandered from south to north to be loaded on to lorries that will haul them into winter pastures at the end of the month.

The sheep are part of a flock of 36 from Girona, northern Spain, that is being prepared for a route across Britain.

This is the second time the sheep have been used to make the journey. They have previously trod the route to the midlands and on the route to Reus in northern France.

They used to go by vehicle but their owners were concerned about risk of road accidents and decided to take them across by lorry for better comfort and safety.

After the gruelling 500km journey through Spain, the sheep will be taken to Scotland, where they will be sheared at a farm near Inverness.

The sheep are brought into Spain and washed in the Ribera del Duero river near Girona before they are shaved in Valencia.

Footage of the voyage on Saturday showed thousands of the sheep negotiating narrow side streets and middle-class areas in the capital, before the offloading began.

The sheep are being loaded on to lorries in Madrid before crossing the country to be taken to Scotland. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

Accompanied by dozens of drivers of lorries equipped with LED lights and bullock-hoists, the shepherd and his dogs sat patiently on the top of the lorries, occasionally checking the progress of the sheep through telescopes.

As the lorries made their way through Madrid, the sheep made their way slowly on to the pitch-black roads and tarmac.

The sheep were wearing little clothing because it was too cold. Photograph: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Girona is one of a number of northern regions hit by drought and flooding, as Spain experienced its driest summer on record.

The newly weaned sheep will be sheared in Glasgow. The sheep have left a dog-pack at the site of their stay.

The sheep are being transported in a series of lorries. Photograph: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

A spokeswoman for the lorry owner, Otto Mutolo, said shearing the sheep at the Scottish site will give them a chance to enjoy a rest during the cold weather.

“We don’t think there will be any animals that will be ill as they have plenty of protein in their diet,” she said.

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