Page 1 of 2

NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:54 pm
by Dark Knight
Grim job outlook for Kiwi sheepdogs
4:00AM Saturday Feb 28, 2009
By Jarrod Booker

Sheepdogs have been banned from herding sheep at the processing plants of New Zealand's biggest meat company because of overseas concerns about the stress it places on the animals.

Silver Fern Farms has promised to stop using dogs at its plants by next year because overseas customers are worried over animal rights and meat quality.

The decision has angered shepherds, who fear it is only a matter of time before overseas pressure leads to dogs disappearing from farms as well.

"Sheep have had dogs around them from the day they were born. They were brought up with dogs - it's the New Zealand way," said mid-Canterbury shepherd Mick Petheram.

Silver Fern Farms spokesman Brent Melville said the company had been reducing the use of sheep dogs "in the international belief that the dogs frighten lambs and cause them stress going into the works".

"It's very sad in some respects, I think. It's the end of an era," he said.

"At the plant level, we use dogs in the same capacity that a farmer would use them on his farm. We have found in our plants that don't use dogs that we need just a minimal manpower to do the same sort of job."

But Mr Petheram is not sure how sheep will be herded around without the dogs through the likes of a wash, where the sheep are reluctant to move.

"In the end, people will have to push them physically. I know from my experience ... to shift stock, the frustration will build up and these sheep will be inhumanely handled."

Federated Farmers animal welfare spokesman Lachlan McKenzie said use of dogs in confined places was different to large paddocks, where there was distance between sheep and dogs.

"If we didn't have a little bit of stress in all of our lives, we would die. Too much is bad, but none is also bad."

SPCA Auckland chief executive Bob Kerridge said an untrained dog could stress stock, but those used in the farming were generally well-trained.

"I can't imagine for one minute the quality of meat or stock is altered in any way, shape or form by use of well-trained dogs."

Mr Petheram, who is not sure about his future once his six dogs are no longer needed, said big retailers wanted to label their meat as having come from "stress-free sheep" as a selling ploy.

"Which is complete and utter *beep*. If they could actually see what is happening ... they would be blown away."

He said he faced having to put his own dogs down.

From ... d=10559218

Talk about madness,

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:35 pm
by Dark Knight
Also check out Hearld Editorial: Sensitive consumers threaten our sheepdogs

And my lastest blog entry: Mad World! Sheepdogs Banned!

That's right my blog is back...

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:40 pm
by TheScribblery
Oh man... what bunk! I mean, I'm as hippy as anyone else around where I live, but seriously. If you're going to eat something, you have to draw a line about how much coddling it gets before it's slaughtered. There's gotta be a point where the line of reality is crossed by being too sensitive about how well you treat the livestock you're going to be killing and making a profit off of, and this is seriously toeing it.

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:45 pm
by The Master
I don't pretend to know a lot about sheep but this is the first time I have ever heard any concerns about dogs stressing them to the point that it is a concern. I find it odd they don't specify who is doing the actual complaining.

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:59 am
by who me
right we do not wish to stress the sheep with those terrible dogs.
I am quite certain that the annual sheep shearing does not cause any stress at all.
mush less the afor mentioned sheep to the slaughter...
the wolves will have to eat tofu.

If you can find the obscure science fiction story
the summer sweet the winter wild by Michael G. Coney sort of relates to this. its a good story.

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:00 am
by Talon Sinnah
Wouldn't the stress come from seeing a slaughtering tool killing your best friend be more then a sheep dog barking?

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:09 am
by Qray
This is so asinine. If they want to be concerned about an aspect of sheep farming, how about they address the fact that lambs bred for veal are kept in little huts so small that they can't even stand up in an effort to keep the lambs immobile and "tender."

The dogs are stressing them...what a bunch of smeg.

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:27 am
by fanuilh
What a load of you-know-what. It especially upsets me that the guy who owns the dogs says he's faced with having them "put down." That's just wrong.

Isn't being concerned with animal rights and meat quality mutually exclusive?

Sheep don't have any capacity to be concerned that their "friends" are being killed. They're sheep, they can't reason. If you'd ever had to deal with sheep, you'd know. They're amazingly stupid. Not that they should be abused, of course. But reasoning beings they aren't.

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:26 am
by who me
i think that the sheep dogs are suffering stress at the thought that they may loose there jobs.

in a interview with a sheep dog the dog said " you know I care for the sheep, that is my life, keeping them together protecting them. I love my flock. the thought of loosing my job, being on the dole that is just more than i can bare."

equally a sheep we interviewed said "Bahhhhh"

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:00 pm
by fanuilh
If the sheep are anything like this one, they'll need those dogs back.

[BBvideo 425,344][/BBvideo]

Interview with Zippy the Border Collie.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:04 pm
by Qray
I got a chance to sit down with World renowned shepherd and Border Collie "Zippy." I've got to admit I wasn't prepared for his exuberance, but his comments where quite enlightening.

[Zippy takes a sip of coffee.] "Wooo! They said I should switch to decaf, but it don't have the punch. Ya know what I mean? Huh? Huh? Huh? I mean, in today's economy what am I suppose to do if I lose my gig at the ranch? Hit the Frisbee circuit? Have you seen that series? It's brutal. Hey look! A squirrel! Wait, where was I? Oh yeah...the Frisbee Championships. Man, I'm telling you it's a dog and pony show without the pony. I'm not saying that they need to clean up the series, but I've got one word for you...steroids. Stress...bah, the stress...wait, did I just say 'bah?' Man, the misses warned me I was bringing my work home with me, but I didn't believe her. Where was I? Oh yeah, to perform in Frisbee catching is insane. And even then it's all 'smile for the camera, wag the tail and keep it perky, mention the sponsors.' Prima donnas, that's what they are. I'm a working dog, baby! Blue collar. Dirt under my claws. I work for a living. Me dad was a shepherd, me dad's dad was a shepherd. Holy crap, did you see the size of that bug! I'm gonna eat it!"

It was at this time that the interview seemed to have ended when Zippy first went after the bug and then started chasing a squirrel around his yard. So his wife was kind enough to bring out some home movies.

[BBvideo 425,350][/BBvideo]

[BBvideo 425,350][/BBvideo]

Re: NZ Sheepdogs Banned!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:56 pm
by Dark Knight
And what of the horse? and the tractor for that matter? Sheep must be really stressed.... :roll: