NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Getting sheepskins tanned  (Read 244 times)


  • Joined Sep 2014
Getting sheepskins tanned
« 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?
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
« Reply #1 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. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
« Reply #2 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.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
« Reply #3 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.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Getting sheepskins tanned
« Reply #4 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.

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way


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