Self-shearing sheep.

Sir - Everyone must surely agree with Prince Charles about the superlative qualities of wool and wish him every success in his Campaign for Wool (Magazine, September 3).

The trouble is that wool is too expensive to produce. Aside from the shearing costs, wool sheep are much more labour-intensive to rear. They have to be set on their feet when they fall over, and docked and dagged and dipped, as weel as shorn.

The new breed of wool-shedding sheep to which the Prince of Wales refers is the Easy Care breed developed in 1965. It is so self-sufficient and has such low shepherding costs that is has become the fastest-growing breed in the country.

To prevent sheep breeding from dying out, breeders need to specialise in single-purpose animals; meat sheep for those who need low costs to make a living, and wool sheep for those who can afford the manpower to cope with all the welfare problems.

S M Crawshaw

Yarm, North Yorkshire