FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Colorfully-Dyed Sheep In Scotland?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows sheep in Scotland with their wool dyed different colors.


Verdict: False

The image has been digitally altered to make the sheep’s wool colorful. The original photo shows white-wooled sheep in the U.S.

Fact Check:

Featured in the viral picture is a flock of sheep, each of which appears to have its wool dyed a bright color. Text inside the image reads, “Freshly dyed sheep run in view of the highway near Bathgate, Scotland. This sheep farmer has been dying his sheep with non-toxic dye since 2007 to make people smile.”

The photo has been digitally edited to change the coloring of the sheep’s wool, and the pictured flock was not located anywhere in the U.K, a reverse image search revealed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service website displays an unaltered version, credited to photographer Keith Weller, that depicts the sheep with non-dyed wool.

The original photo can also be found on Wikimedia Commons, where it is attributed to Weller and the description states, “These particular sheep belong to a research flock at the US Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois, Idaho, USA.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show A UK Cabinet Office Document Telling Government Ministers How To Destroy Businesses?)

It’s not unheard for a farmer to dye their sheep’s wool. One farmer in England’s Lake District region colored his sheep bright orange in 2016 to make it harder for people to steal them, BBC News reported. A flock in West Lothian, Scotland, was dyed red by its owner for entertainment purposes in 2007, according to BBC News. In both cases, the colored sheep attracted interest from the public.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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