Russia: Free sheep for large families in Siberia

A ewe looking through the bars of an enclosure Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pairs of sheep will be given to families with three or more children

A regional government in Russia is giving away 1,000 sheep to large, low-income families, it's reported.

The authorities in the Siberian region of Kemerovo say that 500 families will be given a ewe and a ram each under the scheme, the local website reports. Its aim is to ensure food security, according to the region's long-serving governor, Aman Tyleyev. Kemerovo defines large families as those with three or more children. Sheep were chosen for the scheme because as well as providing meat and milk, their wool can be used to make clothing, the report says. But before being selected to receive the woolly duo, local people will have to prove that they have the facilities to look after them - namely somewhere for the sheep to live.

Similar schemes have been rolled out in other parts of Russia in the past. Between 2011 and 2014, the Buryatia region lent cows to more than 550 low-income families, and last year 30 large families in North Ossetia were given a cow each by the government. On that occasion the animals were handed over in true gift style, with bows wrapped around their horns.

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