Friday, 17 April 2009


Bloggies you know I like to bark 'bout the latest views and news of our Great British Eccentrics? Oooh yeah that's reminded me. Been Eric AWOL this week. (Some diddle or riddle to do with Mom and those pesky wheelies and a wedding. Keep your mince pies open. They might be popping up in the most unexpected places.) So apologies if I didn't visit but I was waggling my wig wag like mad when I thought of everybloggie.

Now. As I was barking. Eccentrics yep, we have more than a few this side of the big pee. Mmmmm. Here's the news regarding Tesco's, our largest supermarket chain, and their new fruit loop policy. TALK ABOUT BARKING MAD.....

"Tesco has told the farmers, who supply the supermarket giant with lamb, to stop using the dogs unless they can be retrained to be "more considerate" towards the flock. The shepherds have reacted with outrage, and claimed up to 60 dogs have now joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Welfare experts expressed bafflement that the centuries-old tradition of moving sheep around with the use of a scurrying, yapping dog could upset the sheep. However, Tesco was adamant that one of its largest suppliers in New Zealand, Silver Fern Farms in Fairton, should stop using dogs to herd sheep into the abattoir. Unlike in Britain, most abattoirs are attached to farms in New Zealand, ensuring the farm does not need to truck its flock down the motorway to a slaughterhouse. The supermarket wants the shepherds to wave their arms, beat sticks or wave flags, to move the sheep into the abattoir.

The surprise order from Tesco, which comes into force next week, came to light thanks to a letter sent to the Daily Telegraph by an upset reader. Mick Petheram, one of the shepherds, said: "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 said that he and his fellow workers would have to sell their dogs, or worse, put them down. "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," he said.

New Zealand is the biggest source of lamb in Britain at this time of year, and it is understood that the Silver Fern Farms is one of Tesco's biggest suppliers. It was visited by Tesco buyers earlier this year, who were "upset" at seeing the dogs "running riot", according to a spokesman for the supermarket. The National Farmers' Union said that it was not aware of any research indicating that farm animals suffered stress because of sheepdogs."Sheepdogs are trained specifically to herd sheep and in some cases cattle and we have heard no problems about them being harmful to the animals," a spokesman said.Tesco stood by its decision. "We don't have a problem with sheep dogs, but we need to make sure they move the sheep in a considerate manner, so they don't stress the sheep out," said a spokesman.

Scientists have found some evidence that if animals that are "stressed" immediately before slaughter the pH level of the meat increases, creating a pale, watery cut. Leading animal welfare charity the RSPCA. said it had concerns about the anxiety suffered by sheep as they are circled and pursued by dogs, but did not believe a ban was necessary."

One of the square eccentrics in this house loves those hoppy skippy, gambling lambs. Sheese. Not the Poker playing ones Scruffy. Though admittedly, the lambie on the left looks like he could bluff a mean hoof or too.

Yeah. Square Mom thinks the lambs should be left in the fields furever. See what I'm up against everybloggie? Jeepers. Never going to get myself on that "I Eat Raw Meat Diet" Your views on this news? Any sheep dogs on the blog out there? You have the right of yap back you know.


Gus said...

Wow..we hardly ever say this, but we think the hoomans are stupider than the sheepies in this case! Doggies know which end is up, and those doggies are trained to do their job. Give a hooman a stick, and he is likely to hurt someone.


Bobby said...

Brenda is in full agreement with your eccentric and thinks that all animals should live to a good age and die pain free and unstressful,and hopes that if any sheepdogs become unemployed there will be some kinds hearts to give them new homes

Martha Basset said...

Our mum thinks that whenever she looks at little lambs she really ought to become vegetarian!
It seems eccentric as you say that the supermarket is worried about the sheep being stressed by the dogs - when in fact they are going to be slaughtered and eaten!!!
That picture you posted of the lambs is just sooooo cute!
Our parents had a lamb curry tonight and are already regretting it!
Martha & Bailey xxx
ps lets hope they dont fancy basset pie over the weekend!!!!!!

Tee said...

Honestly ...!! With the shape of the world's economy and Tesco is harping about dogs stressing sheep ... how they know for certain that humans waving hands and sticks is LESS stressful than dogs?!

I hope they forget about this soon and the dogs can get back to work ...

Licks and Wags

Tuffy and the Dog WOods Pack

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Gus makes a good point. We figure the dogs, at least in many cases, are less stressful to the sheep than humans running around waving sticks.

Lorenza said...

Hi, Eric!
My mom prefers to see the sheep in a field than in her dish!
But I don't think dogs cause stress to them!
Kisses and hugs

Agatha and Archie said...

WEll just another case of stupid humans...AGAIN..what do they know about dogs and sheep...geesh...and those kids look really really sweet.......PL2 thinks they should stay in the fields as well....we would just like to play with them ...Love A+A

Dughallmor Beagles said...

This country's gone nutso....gets stupider every day! (Is stupider a word? It should be)
And ummm....not only do we eat raw meat....Mum can't drive past a fiels of sheep without drooling about a roast, she does agree lambs are cute though. And piglets.....uh-oh, she's off again....*drools...bacon...crispy*
Happy weekend to you good sir :D
Oh and ummm, slobbers too xx

Dughallmor Beagles said...

.....fiels?? Hmmm, time for bed we thinks, hehe!

Daniella said...

never heard anything more ridiculous. When you mentioned eccentrics I thought you were going to talk about Susan Boyle and all the fuss over her! LOL

Asta said...

I suwe sympafise wif you about those wheeleys..Mommi has gotten nothin else done fow days..It' a good thing she wemembews to feed me, oh well, it is my wheeley sissies Wedding so I should be mowe undewstanding.
I love those sheepies, and I would like to be fwiends wif them and I think hoomans should stop eating them(Mommi and daddi!!!!) that Tesco stuff is totally widicoolous!
hoomans awe going nuttiew by the minute
smoochie kisses

Bruce said...

I think that some humans just don't have enough to do so they end up thinking way too hard on something that they shouldn't be thinking about in the first place. Absurd humans! My vote goes to the dogs!!

Joe Stains said...

Stinkin humans wasting their time on this! Arent there more important things to worry about????

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

Please help!
Axl, Autumn's little brother has accidently bumped his head and has been very sick after that: vomit, seizure, hasn't eaten for a week, please, I'm begging you to visit Autumn's blog to support her and sending positive power to help for a good recovery!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Mango, Ximui and Chubs

Noah the Airedale said...

I struggle to figure out how humans manage anything in this world....are they totally stupid or what. They just have to stick their big fat noses into everything. Bud out and let the farmers do what they've been doing for donkeys years. It works just fine! Sheesh!

Noah x

Chef said...

Seems to me sheep and all animals that end up on humans' plates should just be allowed to live out their lives in peace and freedom. But since lots of humans still do eat our friends, we should leave it to the dogs to do the herding. I agree that humans waving sticks would be a lot more stressful than using dogs who've been bred and trained to herd. I bet the pH level would soar even higher with people "running riot" after those poor sheep.

If that picture of the lambies doesn't swear humans off of meat, nothing will - they're precious!

Thanks for sharing this, Eric.


Lacy said...

w00f's Eric, me just seed ur comment on Autumns bloggie about putting Axl on the news..mama just did...hope it helps some...

b safe,

Sophie Brador said...

Oh boy Eric! You don't know eccentric until you meet my mom. She thinks it's important to bathe every day and stuff like that. I'm just glad I'm almost 70 pounds and too big for her to haul into the bathroom that often. If she doesn't want to stink, that's her business, but she should leave my stinking to myselfness.

My mom is also so weird that she would leave those lambies in that field too. I love the lambie that Asta gave me, but that lamb doesn't gamble like these two apparently do. They look like trouble to me.


Dewey Dewster said...

Eric.....we think that someone at Tesco has suffered a severe head injury and lost his marbles.....yep....needs an attitude adjustment too....why everyone knows that if herdin' doggies can't herd, they get bored and will get mean and destructive...why that's their job fer sure... just like our job is to look cute and chasin' vermin....take that away from us and well....we're NOTHIN'....yep, NOTHIN' ya think some of those PETA people got ta 'em ????

All we have ta say, is keep those loonies on your side of the big pee....we don't need any more of 'em 'round here....

Those lambies are really cute but they grow up ta be pretty ugly.....'n Gram doesn't like lamb meat at all.....but we do !!!!

Dewey Dewster here....

Simba and Jazzi said...

Just dropping by to say hello and catch up with your blog.

Simba and Jazzi xx

TwoSpecialWires said...

Hmmmm. Sounds like Tesco is the one "carrying the big stick" - a little Machiavellian, wouldn't you say? Stupid, is what we say. They're forgetting Teddy Roosevelt's "speak softly" part. One look at those little lambs, and how can you NOT speak softly? Leave 'em in the fields. And if they must be herded, leave it to the tradition that has endured centuries. Dogs are not brutal. People are.

NOW, we must get back to sleep,
Jake and Fergi

Oskar said...

The little lambs are very cute!

I left you an award on my blog!


HI Eric
Being part cattle dog I know we have an innate ability to move sheep- it's natures calling. Sheep are prey and whether dog or humans move them, they will get the "flight response" or stress.
Now I must confess, the only thing I have herded are big sticks... and I don't see any protests from it. Nor have I seen mom cook up a pot of stick stew.

I can't believe these humans are spending time on this nonsense. They should perhaps give cooking lessons to the humans who are more likely doing more damage to the tenderness of the precious lamb dinner than any herding dog.


happy said...

Never mind the lambies, LS said her stress level would be up too if she sees humans waving sticks around. And we know how crazy humans can be.

The little lambs in the picture are so adorable. Do they make good companions?

P/s: Yippy the sun has got his hat on for you there...tra la la...I think I need to borrow a hat though, it's way too sunny over here.

Jake of Florida said...

Well, we just read your ECCENTRICS post -- sorry for being a little late -- and we could not believe the stoopidity of the company.

We don't eat lamb in our house, so we don't have a dog in the hunt, so to speak -- but we think the whole world has gone crazy and this is just more proof!!!

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry

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