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Eddie, Macchia and the flock of sheep

A few days before Easter we set out for the town of Acquapendente, where the ILCO plant, the largest sheep slaughterhouse in Italy, is located. A behemoth of the animal farming industry that kills, skins, de-bones, shreds, and packs more than 800,000 animals a year, 200,000 in the pre-Easter season alone.

The animals arrive inside long, imposing, multi-storey trucks after enduring grueling journeys of dozens and dozens of hours. But also others, like little Eddie, who arrive from local farms via short journeys on significantly smaller vehicles, but laden with the same dense and unbearable suffering.

Through dialogue with the slaughterhouse owners, we were able to secure his release and bring him here, where he found the sanctuary’s large multispecies family to welcome him.

A few days later Macchia also arrived, found wandering in a field by some activists, a few kilometers from another well-known sheep slaughterhouse located in Passo Corese.

We took them in, protected and weaned them with care, attention, and all the love we could give, despite ourselves replacing their mothers, from whom they were separated forever by a cruel industry.

Both of them would have been killed at a few days old, but instead, they are here. They made it, but too many are still victims of the violence of farms and slaughterhouses.

Today Eddie and Macchia are two free individuals who have forged a unique bond of brotherhood and complicity, free to self-determine and build relationships elsewhere impossible to imagine, such as that with Tananai, a young calf with whom they now make up an inseparable trio and share carefree days made up of playfulness, chasing, mischief, and long exploratory expeditions in search of the best grass.

Eddie’s and Macchia’s stories represent those of many other sheep that inhabit the sanctuary. Mothers are exploited to the point of exhaustion because of continuous pregnancies and milkings that arrive here as a result of liberations and sequestrations; babies found abandoned in the fields, just hours after birth, in those pastures that just before the Christmas and Easter holidays are filled with baby lambs to be then slaughtered a few days old and end up on our tables laid in the name of a cruel tradition.

For all of them, a different ending is written here: the chance to heal from the traumas they have suffered, to regain possession of their bodies, and to develop family ties and affections elsewhere denied.


Eddie, Macchia and the flock of sheep



Year of birth

Arrival at the Sanctuary


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