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Exporting Dorpers with Caution!


Exporting Dorpers with Caution


With the great worldwide demand for Dorper sheep and steady lamb prices there are opportunities to export both registered and commercial stock to other countries. Over the years there have been many inquiries and sales that myself and our members have worked with. Some have been lucrative business ventures but most have been a waste of time and money. Exporting is a tricky business and is not recommended for most.

When I first had the opportunity to sell sheep out of the country I luckily had some good advice from a man who knew much about exporting livestock. He told me not to do any testing or spend any money until the buyer had paid me 100% for the livestock. This proved to be great advice. What can and will happen is that the breeder first holds back some of their best stock for the prospective client and as the old adage goes time is money. Especially when the product has to be fed and cared for. Then in order to be sure the client is getting the sheep they want the testing for the export protocol is started. Hopefully the tests are done and all is well but the breeder still does not have any money for their efforts. There can be false positives on tests and export protocols can change or the export papers just may not be accepted for some reason. These are just a few of the reasons the breeder needs to be paid for their livestock and expenses first. Then if there is a major health issue or something comes up that is totally unforeseen the breeder could refund the client as a last resort.

The burden of getting an import permit and knowing exactly what testing is required falls on the buyer not the breeder. The buyer if he really wants these sheep should know what is required to get them there. I can’t tell you how many times people have called from other countries and wanted Dorpers only to learn that there is no protocol or testing or shipping costs are just too high.

We’ve spoken a bit about what is required of the buyer in this case but there is additional burden on the seller. When one is selling an animal to someone who has only seen pictures of it then it is critical that the seller provide a high quality animal. I believe that the breeder should send the best sheep they can afford to sell in these cases. This way the buyer is protected and hopefully there will be a trusting relationship built that will provide future sales.


Here is how a successful export would take place...

A. Buyer would have an import permit, current protocol for health and testing, and a certain means for transporting the animals to their new home.

  1. Buyer purchases the sheep to export and pays anticipated expenses

  2. Breeder begins testing 

  3. International health papers are acquired

  4. Buyer arranges for sheep to be picked up and transported.


I was almost scammed by someone wanting to ship Dorpers to the middle east. They sounded very legitimate and they knew or had read online quite a bit about Dorpers. They sent me a check for the estimated shipping costs and then quickly wanted a check FedEx’ed to a third party for the shipping arrangements. I knew at this point it was a scam so I tried to deposit their check and of course it was a forgery! So the Nigerian letter scam can be applied even to livestock. Beware!

The opportunity to export Dorpers can be a good business decision for some breeders but it can also turn into a nightmare that costs far more than its worth. Export with Caution!


Philip Glass

Half-Circle Six Ranches