60,000 people from all over the world have signed a petition to stop a sheep race which has been running for eight years from going ahead.

The Sheep Race at Llandovery Sheep Festival has been a staple of the event since 2009 but organisers have been forced to rethink.

Animal rights activists from all over the world have lobbied organisers, forcing them to cancel the race.

The petition stated: “As part of the Llandovery Sheep Festival in Wales, naturally timid and quiet sheep will be made to race against each other for the amusement of festival goers.

“This is cruel and unnecessary humiliation.

“Large noisy crowds will be cheering and shouting at them and this will be extremely frightening and stressful for them.”

South Wales Guardian:

Activist petition website Care2 has already campaigned for two other sheep races in the UK to be cancelled this year.

In response to the pressure from the petition, organisers have taken the decision to take the sheep out of the sheep race.

The rave was due to take place at the annual festival on September 23 and 24.

Organisers of the Llandovery Sheep Festival said: “In previous years’ sheep races we applied the highest standards of animal welfare and complied with all regulations, but we accept the rights of others to disagree and became aware of calls to cancel the race.

“We already wanted to do something different this year, and also felt that any potential confrontation with opposers would spoil a family occasion, which is intended primarily to help our town and its folk.

“Therefore we didn’t cancel the race, we transformed it.

“So, as dusk falls, the Market Square will become a scene of madcap entertainment when the evening’s festivities begin.

“Here’s where we need some help.

“We want to bring together a group of fun-loving, intrepid, energetic teams to participate in the madness and mayhem that is the Drovers Derby.

“No real live sheep will take part in this year’s race.

“Instead we seek to tap into the crazy side of our community to form teams of four to race with fabulous trundle sheep on wheels, designed and built by some amazingly creative members of our volunteer group.

“Entry forms will soon be available via links on our Facebook page and website, where further details will be found.”