The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Kerriech on August 29, 2019, 03:47:36 pm

Title: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Kerriech on August 29, 2019, 03:47:36 pm
Anyone had any experience getting lambskins tanned?
I have 2 coloured ryeland lambs due to go for slaughter soon and looked into getting the skins back.
I found a tannery in Dorset who will tan small numbers but it appears I would need to register as a tannery to get the skins and salt them.
This involves visits from AH which is bound to be way more complicated than it needs to be.
That doesn’t even cover how I would get the skins to the tannery.
Anyone had any experience and can offer a solution?
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: SallyintNorth on August 29, 2019, 06:30:01 pm

We drive ours to our tannery which is Devonia in Buckfastleigh.  Our abattoir lets us collect our skins the day after slaughter, charges us £5 per each. The abattoir has salted them overnight, sufficiently for Devonia to accept them that day. 

If we weren’t in driving range, we’d need to bring the skins home and salt them until they stopped oozing, then package them in waterproof packaging and courier them to the tannery of our choice. 

I think one should officially need an exemption for handling “animal waste” in order to do this.  I did a set of exemptions for the farm in Cumbria; it wasn’t arduous and didn’t cost anything. 

Some folks here have in the past tried tanning themselves, using eco friendly products.  The work in scraping and salting and stretching was deemed excessive and we are now happy to pay Devonia their £30 per skin for processing. 
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Kerriech on August 29, 2019, 07:54:18 pm
That’s interesting. I have been speaking to the tannery by email who said abattoir may ask for AB117 form.
So I downloaded the form to fill in and it’s for people setting up an animal by product business. I called animal health for help filling it in and the vet there said I would need an inspection which costs. They can’t be sent except by registered ABP haulier. Blah blah.

So reply to tannery saying this is all too expensive and complicated. And he tells me they’ve got it wrong.

I’m scared to fill the form in now in case AH turn up and charge me £100s for an inspection.
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Sbom on August 30, 2019, 09:25:12 am
I dropped off my lambs , collected skins later in day and salted at home. No forms, charges or inspections ???????????.

Posted skins off to Welsh Organic Tannery approx three weeks later.
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Dans on September 02, 2019, 10:33:01 pm
The form is really easy, no visits needed, they just email you back the certificate and then you can handle animal by products. We got our certificate, gave it to the abbatoir at drop off, picked up the skins later than day and scraped and salted them at home. Quite a few weeks later we popped them in rubble sack (double bagged) and then into a cardboard box and sent them by courier as the tannery suggested. Got some lovely skins posted back to us a few months later.

I went through a couple of emails with APHA to be clear on what we needed and I've kept the emails just in case anyone else queries it. It might be worth emailing just in case the person on the phone had it wrong.

Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Justin on November 07, 2019, 11:32:53 am
Thought I'd add to this, Devonia had our 6 Devon close wool skins this year but neglected to tell us that the wool needed to be less than 5" long. After a few months I had a phone call to tell me that all 6 skins had been destroyed going through the fleshing machine. As you might imagine, I was somewhat unhappy about this but nothing can be done now. Just be aware of that if when you're sending sheep to slaughter to have a look at the length of fleece before they go.
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 07, 2019, 12:31:15 pm
Oh, that’s terrible news.  I do feel for you. 

They did tell me this year that around 5” was the limit; I wonder if they’ve got a new machine which has imposed this limit.
Title: Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
Post by: Dogwalker on November 09, 2019, 06:46:42 am
Maybe more people are sending longer woolled sheepskins and they've just had more problems.
 I was told that several years ago when I first enquired about sending angora goat skins.
I wait to get the skins back from the abattoir when I take animals in, no charge but they make me wait a long time some days.I must have a photocopy of the form each time.  Salt them at home and send them in to Devonia. Last year had a call to say the couriers refused to deliver one of four parcels because it was wet but when they phoned months later to tell me they were ready to send back all were there.  Perhaps the courier realised they couldn't legally dispose of them any other way than deliver?