the effect of alternative bedding materials on sheep behaviour and welfare dr ruth wonfor: ibers, aberystwyth university  bedding is important for keeping animals clean and dry but also for environmental enrichment in housed sheep systems to improve animal welfare.  straw encourages natural sheep behaviour but is increasingly expensive and increases the environmental footprint of the welsh sheep industry through haulage of cereal straw across the uk.  recent studies have investigated viable options for sheep bedding. in wales, woodchip has been demonstrated as an option, as long as the farm is set up to properly manage the bedding.  further work is needed to investigate other viable sources of bedding at different stages of the sheep’s life. choice of bedding is important in animal housing to ensure that animals are kept clean and dry. however, bedding also has a role in enrichment in indoor sheep housing and is clearly demonstrated to improve animal welfare and behaviour. altho...