More Idiots– and a Brave Dog

They always exceed your direst fears. The Lady with the Black Dogs sent me this link to a story about how Tesco, the huge British supermarket chain that buys most of New Zealand’s lamb, will no longer allow shepherds to use herding dogs. You couldn’t make it up:

“The supermarket chain has told its major supplier of lamb to stop using dogs, which it claims cause stress to the animals.

It means shepherds at the farm may need to use methods such as beating the ground with sticks and waving their arms to control the flock.”

Oh, THAT should keep them calm.

“Outraged staff at Silver Fern Farms in Fairton, New Zealand may now have to get rid of up to 60 dogs to comply with the orders, meaning several of the animals will be destroyed.

Shepherd Mick Pethram told the Telegraph newspaper: ‘New Zealand sheep are used to dogs, they know dogs.

‘There’s more stress in a human herding and manhandling them, waving their arms and beating sticks. Dogs are part of a sheep’s life. This is absolute baloney.’

He continued: ‘We’ll be desperately trying to sell them, but most of us will end up putting down three or four each.

‘These are good dogs. Taking away our dogs is like taking a hammer away from a builder; we can’t do our job without them.’ “

The worst thing is that these can’t even be vegetarian animal rights-ists– just people so utterly out of touch with the world that they think they can rewrite its rules.

On a vaguely related topic, here is a video of a flock guardian dog somewhere in the east– Bulgaria?– successfully taking down a wolf that attacks his flock. Great peasant celebration afterwards too.


  1. Well, it seems purty obvious to me that we will eventually legislate ourselves into extinction. It would undoubtedly behoove the world if kids had to go work on a farm for extended periods rather than go to public(or private!) schools…..L.B.

  2. How exactly would a company in England even know if they just kept using dogs? Just say, "Sure, we won't use dogs." Snicker to yourself and carry on with business as usual. No?

  3. I can't actually get the video to load (damn YouTube seldom working for me lately), but best I can tell the dog is in Kosovo, the poster's language is Albanian (the letter q is a good tipoff).

  4. Humaniacs gone wild.

    I did a bit of googling and found a piece of crap "study" done in NZ a few years back that claimed to demonstrate that sheep are excessively stressed by dogs – though not by goats or empty boxes.

    The American lamb we eat is regularly worked by dogs. Sometimes even my inexperienced goons, and I will attest to the fine quality of the meat. Nom!

  5. People hollering and waving sticks – Yikes – that would be terrifying! I'll take a quiet working dog that barks when asked, any day. Our herding dog pens the sheep every night these days, and it's very calm. Everyone knows the drill, and it's no big deal.

  6. Why can't they have a taste test, honest meat testing and see if anyone can detect any stress.
    Maybe they should get the advice of Temple Grandin, whose job is to make the chutes at packing houses less stressful for cattle.
    If that doesn't work send in Clarissa Dickson
    straighten out these drones.

  7. Not that EVERYTHING about this scenario is not ridiculous, but has anyone else seen the irony in the fact that certain people are concerned over the sheep being stressed, but that they are still EATING the sheep! Being eaten tends to be quite stressful! I would expect this sort of thing from humaniacs who want zero human/animal contact for the world, but not self- righteous carnivores!

  8. “The worst thing is that these can't even be vegetarian animal rights-ists—“

    Sure it can.
    Back door approach to shutting down the industry and it looks like Tesco might have bought in to appease and get the AR’s of their backs.
    I’ve had many tell me that they can’t run their operations without their dogs. Watching an old Nat Geo special years ago, they had a NZ sheep herder say exactly that.
    Readers Digest version he said….”teach someone to work my dogs, and they can run the ranch without me….take away my dogs, and I can’t run this operation.

  9. I reckon I'd just find some other buyers before I'd kill my dogs–lots more buyers out there, surely! And good luck to the buyer looking for "Canine-Free" mutton!….L.B.

  10. These hyperhumaniacs are getting themselves out to a place where they are ridiculous and will undermine the whole REAL humane movement which still struggles along to curb people who truly do abuse dogs — like inbreeding them into torture. Just getting rid of all show dogs and protecting all working dogs would rectify the situation.

    But the people who worry about sheep to this extent are a symptom of a society that treats people like sheep. They've got it backwards.

    Prairie Mary

  11. This isn't the nanny state.

    This is the nanny corporation.

    But it's a very good example of what happens when your population is entirely alienated from the natural world and also possesses rather strong class resentments that have been carried over from the Enclosure and Highland Clearance. If the nobles can hunt and raise huge herds stock on land that your ancestors once farmed, the history of that dispossession will trickle into the general body politic for centuries.

  12. Been offline for some time now, but enjoying getting caught up. This article and last week's bit on making predators cuddly and cute got me thinking.

    Maybe we should be working harder to reverse evolution completely. Back to the slime with us all!

    How much more of a utopia could there be than having the world consist of one, single celled critter with no self-awareness?

    It would be like Congress, only wetter.

  13. Been a while since I had time to read my favorite blog, but I'm really puzzled by Prairie Mary's comment to "get rid of all show dogs" – my "Black Dogs" have seen the inside of a show ring from time to time, they are linebred for generations (who is to say where linebreeding stops and inbreeding starts) and they are healthy, smart, NOT tortured and can handle themselves in hunting situations as well …

    Really do have to wonder sometimes why it is OK to maintain bloodlines for dogs of certain occupations, but not others? Who makes those decisions and who appoints them to be the "great decider?"

    Jes' wondering what gives anyone the "right" to call me a "dog abuser?"

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