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Warning! explicit photographs of cruelty to sheep and other animals which some people will find distressing

 

Animal Rights Factory Farming: Sheep
http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal-Rights-Sheep.htm

The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but Can they suffer?’

Jeremy Bentham

Farm animals are recognised as sentient beings in the treaty of Amsterdam

We passed by a farm recently and all the sheep you see here and others where housed in a barn, for a clearer view  see larger photograph,. They were all just looking through the gate as though asking for help. Do I image this. Passing by fields with similar gates sheep do not crowd round them staring out looking at you in this way. I really felt sad for these sheep as it appeared as though they where asking for help. I don't know why they are here, but without exception every sheep turned her gaze towards the gate and out onto the road as though wanting their freedom.

I along with a growing consensus of people including scientists consider animals to be sentient, and this includes sheep and you can read my article concerning the sentience of sheep: Sentient Sheep

However regardless of whether or not sheep are sentient it is obvious that they like other creatures feel pain. Not for one moment have I ever considered otherwise and in our modern society most people would not give it a second thought that this is not the case, as it is as obvious as the fact that you or I feel pain. An animal has a brain and a nervous system, therefore it is not possible that they do not feel pain. Yet many awful and painful abuses take place on animals every single day in farms all over the world, abuses that few people are aware of and these abuses are horrifying cruel. More information: Animal Rights

Why do sheep need liberating, saving? Saving from what? Saving from premature death in the abattoir, an eloquently sounding word, I would imagine of French origin for a place of such cruelty. This is of course the most dire and obvious abuse and act of cruelty towards these gentle creatures and other farm animals. There can be no two ways about this, to cause the death of another feeling thinking being is cruel and particularly in such dreadful and terrifying circumstances, for make no mistake sheep like all creatures sheep know that they are to die, they can sense the fear of their fellows, hear the panicked bleating of fear and distress.

...there is absolutely no doubt that they know when death is upon them. When they believe all is lost, lambs go completely limp in the hand.
Unto us a lamb is given by Horatio Clare

I do not like eating meat because I have seen lambs and pigs killed.  I saw and felt their pain.  They felt the approaching death.  I could not bear it.  I cried like a child.  I ran up a hill and could not breathe.  I felt that I was choking.  I felt the death of the lamb. 
Vaslav Nijinsky

However up until that day unlike other factory farmed animals sheep live more natural lives... Or do they? They are breed outdoors with more freedom of movement, not crowded and cramped into tiny spaces never to see the light of day or feel the warmth of the sun on their backs as are, for example pigs, often confined to spaces where they can barely turn round. Sheep mostly have a natural diet and are left to freely graze, their lambs are reared by their own mothers. Compared to most farm animals their lives appear natural, even idyllic. However underneath this idyllic facade there is a layer of suffering not seen and of which few of us are aware. As you roam through the country on a warm sunny day through fields of butter cups you see the tiny lambs, hear them bleating, it all seems so peaceful, yet underneath this facade there is much suffering.

Here is the reality.  Sheep are bred for meat, wool, skin and more recently and ever increasingly milk. Sheep breed for milk are farmed more intensively.

Each year over 4 million sheep in the UK die from exposure to the cold, (many sheep suffer with pneumonia and hypothermia during the winter time when exposed unprotected to harsh weather conditions, particularly in upland areas such as the Yorkshire Dales and Moors.)  hunger, disease and pregnancy problems and injury take their toll. Such occurs often as a result of neglect.

Here in the UK over 15 million sheep are slaughtered each year, an unimaginable number of living sentient beings herded into lorries cramped together, terrified. Few live out the duration of their natural lives unless they are fortunate to live in a farm sanctuary or are kept as pets. The adorable tiny lambs many people delight in seeing each spring time in such places as the Yorkshire Dales are slaughtered from as early as 10 to 16 weeks old and some even earlier to cater for a demand for lamb at Easter time. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone can round up these tiny defenceless, gentle creatures, take them from their mothers, herd them into a lorry and take them to the nearest abattoir.

Part of the problem in my opinion is simply that people do not think, they simply do not make the connection.  Most people are far removed from the countryside, and rarely see a tiny newborn lamb, or a baby calf and even if you live in the country you rarely see pigs as these poor creatures are confined in barns for most of their lives. The leg of lamb or the pork shop many people buy in the butchers or vacuumed packed in supermarkets does not resemble a living feeling vibrant creature, if it did I rather think few would buy it.  Even in the case of the farmer many see no incongruity of speaking fondly of their live stock yet when the times come send them to slaughter nonetheless.  During the foot and mouth crisis in the UK the media showed distraught farmers crying when their animals where killed during the culling atrocity to prevent the spread of a disease amongst animals that is no more fatal than the flu is for most of us. Yet these same farmer send thier animals to slaughter without a second thought, It is as though there is some mental block, as though people do not make the connection.

Surprisingly many people driving though the Dales during spring, stopping to photograph new born lambs with their mothers or even visiting farms to see orphaned lambs being battle fed will nonetheless not see the incongruity of ordering local lamb in many of the cafe's, tea rooms and pubs scattered throughout the Yorkshire Dales and similar places.

And the mother of course is not free to live out her natural life, eventually she will also be killed for mutton as soon as her useful breeding life is over.  The average life of a ewe is up to 15 years; sadly the majority are slaughtered by the age of 6 years. Most new born rams lambs are slaughtered and only the most desirable are kept to increase stock.

Breeding

In nature breading happens once each year, the ewe (female sheep) comes into season in the autumn and sometimes in winter and gives birth when it is warmer in the spring. Ewes  naturally give birth to one and more rarely two lambs.  However modern farming practices interfere with this natural cycle by the use of hormones and controlled lighting whilst keeping ewes confined to sheds in order to capitalise on sales of lamb for Easter and lambs are born earlier, sometimes as early as January even December. The consequences of this abuse are dire; many of these tiny lambs do not survive the cold and each year over one million new born lambs die of exposure within days of being born.  Moreover because lambs are so profitable factory farming practices include the impregnation of ewes with three or four lambs often with dreadful consequences when the ewe is unable to cope. In some cases Selective breeding has altered the sheep’s natural breeding patterns to such an extent that some ewes are able to lamb twice a year. In short the ewe is treated like a lamb making machine with little care for her welfare. All to provide humans, mainly the minority in rich countries, with meat, a food source that is no longer required and is a detriment not only to animals but to the welfare of other people and the planet as a whole.  For more information on these issues please refer on this website to section
 Think Differently Go Veggie/Vegan

Shearing

Shearing may seem a benign event, many people consider that it is of benefit for the sheep and that without the intervention of man sheep would not be able to loose their wool, and often people consider that this is one justification for the domestication of sheep. The truth is that indeed yes without man's aid, without shearing sheep would be in difficulty as they do not shed their wool. But no this is not a natural occurrence and is the result of selective breeding; sheep have been genetically manipulated in order to introduce certain desirable characteristics, desirable that is to the farmer, the producer of meat, wool and milk. Sheep have been selectively bred so that they produce abnormally excessive amounts of wool. The most obvious and extreme example is the Marino breed of sheep in Australia who have been bred to have extra folds of skin in order to increase the amount of wool produced by each sheep, this leads to heat exhaustion and fly infestation which than to prevent requires a horrific and extremely painful procedure called mulsing, I will refer to this again later. Australia being a hot climate makes this huge burden of wool and skin a particular detriment for this unfortunate creature. Pure bread Merino sheep make up over 80% of Australia's sheep with most of the remainder having at least some Marino Blood. The result of this and similar selective breeding is that sheep are no longer naturally capable of shedding their own wool and therefore must be shorn, a process which at the very least is extremely stressful and at worse painful. Sheep sharers particularly in Australia are paid piece work, that is they are paid according to the number of sheep they shear. This results in very rough handing and in many cases serious injury as viewed by the following witness.

 
Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. Says one eyewitness: "[T]he shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals … I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep's nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off …"
Quotation from the PETA Website: peta.org.au/issue/the-cruelty-of-wool/

And after this ordeal the suffering is far from over as sheep are released into extremes of weather. Next time you are in the country after a recent shearing you may observe how close these poor creatures have been sheared, even the tails of those who are fortune to have them and which have not been docked - another abuse to which I will again later refer - have been sheared so close that you can see pink skin underneath! As you can image this can have dire consequences, cold and sunburn... or can you image? I think that many people seem oblivious to the truth of such and even consider that the farmer has done a service to the sheep rather than consider it an act of cruelty. Here In the UK and other countries of similar cold damp climates even in June or July it can be bitterly cold and sheep often suffer terribly as a result of excessive shearing, particularly if the shearing is late in the year, thousands die of exposure. In places such as the Yorkshire dales, the Lake district even during the summer months the temperatures can be very cold with keen winds and of course this is more so after night fall. Conversely in warmer climates and yes even in the UK on hot days in June or July sheep may suffer painful sunburn on skin exposed by excessive shearing. The purpose of a sheep's fleece is to keep him warm, in nature wool is slowly shed at the right time of year when it is beneficial for the sheep. I have seen sheep in May when it can be very warm burdened with a huge heavy fleece which is not naturally shed, and the poor creature will have to wait during even hottest of  summers until the shearer removes his fleece, when it suits the farmer for a maximum yield of wool.

The sheep's woolly coat has evolved to protect the sheep from both cold and heat, it is not for making jumpers or carpets.  A sheep's fleece provides effective insulation against both cold and heat. Before man's intervention, sheep grew just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes and it was shed naturally at a slow rate while new wool grew underneath.

Mulesing

Mulesing occurs commonly in Australia, the world's leading sheep producer and exporter with a national flock of an estimated 135 million sheep, but is practiced globally.

Millions of sheep suffer the pain of mulesing every year.

In a study by Fell and Shutt (1989), it was found that stress-related behaviour in sheep continued for up to 113 days following mulesing. These behaviours included displaying abnormal postures most likely resulting from the painful mulesing wound for up to 48 hours following mutilation and standing stood with head down, nose almost touching the ground, back arched, and body hunched.

A study conducted by Chapman et al. (1994) found that surgically mulesed sheep quickly assumed a hunched-up posture. The study reported that normal daily behaviour of observed sheep was altered for up to 72 hours.  Compared to sheep in a control group, mulesed sheep did not engage in routine feeding, lying, or grazing. Instead, mulesed sheep were observed to spend much of their time standing still.  Researchers did not observe any of the mulesed animals lying or resting on the day following mutilation or even drinking until the second day following mutilation. The study also found that mulesed sheep lost weight during the week following mutilation.

voiceless : the fund for animals - Home..

Well I am not in the least surprised to read the above as Mulesing is such an horrifyingly painful mutilation carried out on tiny defenceless lambs. I cannot bear to look at photos showing the severe cruelty of this practice, like the one you will see further down, without feeling sick inside. I, like many people was not aware of Mulesing or any of the other barbaric abuse carried out on sheep until I began my research during the creation of this website. To say I am shocked, horrified and deeply depressed by these acts of cruelty and the fact that such acts are carried out legally is an understatement

Musing is a surgical procedure, it is used to reduce the incidence of flystike, a dreadful and potentially life threateningly infestation. This painful procedure is more commonly practiced in Australia where due to climate and the consequences of selective breeding Marino sheep are more susceptible to flystike infestations. Flies are attracted to the moisture and urine that collects within the unnatural folds of skin in Marino sheep and lay their eggs. When the maggots hatch they can eat the sheep alive, horrific indeed. However even more horrific is the practice of mulesing, an unimaginably  painful procedure which involves cutting large strips of flesh from the hind legs of lambs who are about four weeks old. Mulesing is done to create scars and a smooth skin that cannot harbour flies. This is done with no anaesthetic. The very procedure itself may cause the disease it is supposed to prevent, mulesing obviously results in open wounds which often get flystike before they are able to heal along with all kinds of infections which of course result from any open wound. There are other more humane methods to protect sheep from fly strike without recourse to such cruel barbaric and abusive methods which is only undertaken for financial considerations, mulesing being cheaper than more humane methods. Surely common sense methods such as maintaining healthy sheep by inspecting them regularly for the first sign of infection, which is than easily irradiated and which is the practice amongst organic farmers.
 
"Anecdotal evidence through communication with organic farmers suggests that fly strike is largely preventable if farmers keep sheep healthy and inspect them regularly. Some organic farmers have largely eliminated fly strike from their farm. Investigations on fly strike control using non-intrusive techniques are also progressing in Australaisa and the United Kingdom."

SpringerLink - Journal Article

Moreover Scientists in Australia have discovered that sick sheep know how to heal themselves by eating plants that make them well. Furthermore sheep learn this from their mothers when they are lambs. Research shows that when they have a choice sheep will return to a plant that has helped them in the past. Dr Revell a scientist in involved in the research studying sheep nutrition says:
“It could be that sheep need certain medicinal paddocks where we take them to self-medicate … or it could be that they need ongoing low-level intakes of certain plants to keep parasites at bay,”

“The right plants have to be available to the animals at the right time. We suspect they need access to a range of different forage plants to learn which to choose,”


He said sheep learnt best from their mothers and knowledge of medicinal plants may be passed on through generations of sheep. In nature the prevention of flystike might well be possible due to the abilities sheep have to self medicate if grazed in fields with the appropriate plants . Flystike as with so many issues has been made more of a problem as a result of domestication. It most certainly can be controlled as explained in the quote concerning the methods of organic farming without recourse to such dreadful cruelty which is nothing short of torture!

Even if Mulesing was the only action which could be carried out to protect sheep from flystike it should be carried out by a veterinary surgeon, with the use of anaesthetics and after the procedure the animal should be treated with painkillers and antiseptics. There is no law in Australia that requires that farmers follow this procedure and consequently Mulesing is often carried out by less ethical farmers without the above course of action taking place. There are products that have been approved for pain relief during the procedure however the use of pain relief is not mandatory by Australian industry practices. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries states in the Standard Operating Procedures that, "While the operation causes some pain, no pre or post operative pain relief measures are used".  Antiseptics are often applied, but anaesthesia and painkillers are not required during or after the procedure.

A new product Tri-Solfen recently launched for the relief of post operative pain and also as an antiseptic is just one product that could be used to relieve the suffering of lambs.

Personally I see no reason whatsoever to carry out this procedure at all, even with the use of anaesthetics it is still painful and stressful for the unfortunate animal. Most of us know from our own experience with anaesthetics, and I imagine that we are here talking about local anaesthetics, there is still some discomfort and there is no painkiller that completely irradiates post operative pain.

It would seem from the information below that a little care and attention to the welfare of sheep would help in the fight against fly strike without recourse to Mulesing, such as the procedures outlined below:

"Blowflies thrive in still, warm and humid conditions. Our long-awaited summer could still deliver these conditions, and it pays to be vigilant. There are several options available to minimise the risk of an outbreak:
• dagging to reduce odours, faeces, urine and fleece rot
• don’t let wool get too long – certainly never more than a year’s growth
• time shearing so that wool is shortest during the warmest months
• dispose of any carcasses – these are breeding grounds for flies
• consider use of fly traps to help reduce numbers and monitor levels of blowflies
• move sheep to more exposed paddocks during danger periods (flies dislike wind)
• good parasite control to prevent scouring
• use a spray-on insecticide to prevent flystrike during the danger months."

Schering-Plough Coopers, animal health remedies New Zealand for farmers

I have though the distinct impression that cost efficiency is the main obstacle here for preventing the use of more humane alternatives . In short there are two few shepherds to tend the sheep, its another form of downsizing to accrue more profit, sadly here at the expense of defenceless creatures. It is obvious that the most desirable action for the welfare of the sheep is the above organic method of maintaining the health of the sheep, frequency checking for infestation and treating it quickly when it arises with an appropriate pesticide.

This poor little lamb has undergone Mulesing. This defenceless creature has been mutilated, her skin and tail have been cut with shears . No anaesthetic is used.

Photo and others showing appalling cruelty to sheep and more information may be found at:
 Animal Activism Queensland - AAQ Enter Mulesing into the search field

 

Tail Docking 

Tail docking is a procedure carried out to reduce problems with fly infestation when faecal matter accumulates on the sheep's rear end, often referred to in Australia as dag, which has become a slang term in Australian subculture often used as an affectionate insult for someone who is unfashionable, and/or with poor social skills.

There are several methods used to bring about this painful mutilation.

Banding

During this particular mutilation the lamb's tail is removed by using a tight rubber ring which restricts the flow of blood to the tail which after some time causes the tail to drop off, after 7 to 10 days. This is obviously very painful and if the elastrator method is used it leaves the lamb susceptible to tetanus for which he or she than needs a vaccination. Some shepherds cut off the tail before before it falls off .

Rubber elastrator rings and pliers as used on lambs, goats and some calves for the purpose of tail docking and castration

Photo by , user Cgoodwin File:Elastrator rings.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

 

Other methods

Other even more horrific methods include the use of a knife or hot iron. A knife is the least recommended technique as it may result in excessive bleeding and is of course extremely painful for the lamb. An electric docking iron cuts and cauterises the tail simultaneously. An emasculator can be used for both tail docking and castration, it has both a cutting and crushing mechanism. The crushing mechanism seals the blood vessels on the tail remaining on the lamb, while the cutting edge effectively removes the tail.

 

Emasculator may be used for both tail docking and castration. See picture further down of a mule being castrated by the use of this implement

A Burdizzo below, also used for castration may sometimes be used for tail docking and is similar to the emasculator except it does not have a cutting mechanism. A knife must be used to cut off the tail (inside the Burdizzo). A "baby" (9 in.) burdizzo is used for lambs.

Burdizzo used for both castration and tail docking


Doesn't it all look horrific, rather like the implements of a torture chamber, these tools are used to undertake this procedure which is of no benefit  to the creature concerned and which causes him or her only pain and suffering

Keep in mind that an anaesthetic is rarely used.

Even if anaesthesia is carried out there is still the problem of after pain following the mutilation. Furthermore neuromas grow in the tail stump, these abnormal knots of nerve tissue are associated with chronic pain in human amputees, therefore in all probability lambs with docked tails may suffer chronic pain.

This painful procedure is carried out on tiny new born lambs from one to seven days old like this one

Newborn Lamb and mother

Photo: Daveybot Newborn lamb on Flickr - Photo Sharing! creative commons license Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic..

 And this one

Newborn Lamb one day old

Credit

Daveybot lamb! on Flickr - Photo Sharing!creative commons license Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic..

Moreover, things may go wrong with the result of much additional suffering. Sometimes their tails are cut too short, this results in an increased possibility of the animal suffering from rectal prolapse. 

Finally consider sheep have tails for a reason. It protects the sheep's anus, vulva and udder from weather extremes. When sheep defecate they lift thier tail and use their tail to some extent to scatter thier faeces. Nature intended sheep to have a tail, it is not an obsolete organ like your appendix.  As usual this procedure is carried out more for the benefit of man than the animal concerned: for example it is easier for sheep Shearers if the tails are docked; also some markets may discriminate against lambs with tails.

Castration

Most male lambs, rams, not required for breeding are castrated at the same time as tail docking in order to stop fighting and unwanted pregnancies.

Male lambs may be castrated before they reach 3 months of age if they are to be  kept after reaching sexual maturity. The vast majority of lambs are generally not castrated in the UK ( those not needed for breeding) as they are slaughtered before they become sexually active. The most common method of castration is similar to some of the methods used for tail docking and the same implements are used. One method involves the application of a tight rubber ring which cuts off the blood supply. A tight rubber band is placed round the top of the scrotum, which like the tail eventually drops off in two to three weeks. Although like tail docking the scrotum is sometimes cut off after a few days. The banding method of castration is very painful and is supposed to be undertaken within less than seven days after birth. Can you imagine those tiny little lambs wobbling about on spindly legs undergoing such horrific procedures. Again the lamb becomes more susceptible to tetanus for which a vaccination is required.

An even more painful and inhumane procedure involves the bottom of the scrotum being cut with a knife or a scalpel and the testes squeezed out. Research in the UK indicates that this method is the most painful, although I am sure that anyone with any common sense would know that these methods are painful. I wonder if the farmer would like his scrotum cut off and his testicles removed without an anaesthetic. Sheep like all animals have a nervous system and a brain and consequently feel pain. This method may also lead to fly infestation and other infections if inadequate sterilization is not carried out.

Another method is the use of the All-In-One tool, this is a device used to grab the testicles after cutting off the bottom one third of the scrotum with the scissors portion of the tool. A burdizzo , see photo above, used also for tail docking, is used to crush the spermatic cord, which crushes the blood vessels. The testicles are thus deprived of their blood supply causing them to shrivel up and die.

Both castration and  tail docking of lambs may occur without anaesthetic. With both mutilations there of course will occur pain afterwards which may become chronic.

To anyone with any common sense it is obvious that castration is extremely painful, sheep just like us have a brain and a nervous system which works in the same way as it does for us and indeed for all animals, pain after all is a survival mechanism, no creature would survive with out it. It has been observed that after their rings have been fitted that lambs show observable signs of pain and distress as they bleat loudly, stamp thier hooves, lie on their backs hyperventilating and stand in a huddled position. And just like you and I when we are in pain and distress lambs become less sociable, their is less exploratory behaviour and they in general move more slowly.

Scientists are in agreement that all methods of docking and castration cause pain and distress to the lamb, though the severity and extent varies by lamb, sometimes breed, and methodology. The scientific literature pertaining to the pain and distress caused by castration and tail docking is lengthy and complex. Studies have been conducted in different countries, with different species, breeds, ages, methods, and methodology. Results and conclusions are not always in agreement, though some general recommendations can be gleaned from the scientific literature.

Castration of a mule an  Emasculator

Photo licensed under ,GNU Free Documentation License

Attributed to Lucyin:  File:Mule castration emasculator during haemostasis.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Tail docking and castration is obviously painful, this is common sense surely

Tooth-Grinding/Trimming
Tooth-grinding is thankfully prohibited here in the UK. However keep in mind that much of the lamb consumed in the UK and the wool used is imported from countries that carry out this practice.
Teeth grinding is carried out in Australia despite the Australian Veterinary Association opposition to this practice which they consider is unnecessary.
  
"The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) opposes tooth trimming, tooth clipping or tooth grinding in sheep. These procedures cannot be justified or recommended because they have not been shown to benefit the welfare or productivity of the animal."

The idea of teeth grinding is supposed to sharpen the sheep's bite and prevent them from losing their teeth. However sheep who have had their teeth trimmed in this way do not gain weight or increase their food intake therefore there is no benefit and only stress and pain for the unfortunate creature. As you can well imagine there is also much stress involved in this procedure.

Many older sheep over 3 or 4 years of age are culled prematurely due to broken teeth, grinding is supposed to reduce this and is carried out routinely. A rotary stone cutting machine is used to slice off the ewes front teeth through the pulp and almost to the gum, which surely must be extremely painful.    The code of practice for sheep in western Australian section 10.7 states:

" Both teeth grinding and teeth trimming have the potential for causing acute and chronic pain in some animals. In the absence of sound evidence on the benefits of teeth grinding and teeth trimming they cannot be recommended as routine flock management procedures.

Yet despite this statement this practice is carried out in Australia  and elsewhere.

Diseases

In addition to infection caused by flystike, sheep suffer a number of conditions some of which are a result of the conditions in which they are kept. For example painful foot diseases result from sheep being kept on damp low land. Other serious disease or conditions include lameness, Sheep Scab, Watery Mouth, Toxoplasmosis, Skin & Internal Parasites, Copper Poisoning/toxicity and mastitis.  In addition many sheep suffer from exposure, hypothermia, and  pneumonia as a result of being in exposed regions where the weather is harsh. For instance in upland areas here in the north of England and Scotland. Due to intensive farming methods lambs are born and  are weaned earlier fed on milk substitute feed concentrates and housed indoors where disease spreads more quickly. For more information visit the vegetarian society's website: https://www.vegsoc.org/sheep

Culling

As a result of lameness, poor health or failing to produce lambs 15-25 per cent of ewes are culled, in other words, killed. They are of course replaced in the stock . During the foot and mouth outbreak 5 million sheep where culled slaughtered needlessly for a disease that is rather like flu, uncomfortable, unpleasant but not fatal.

It is becoming increasingly more common to confine sheep in doors in a similar way to more intensively farmed animals as pigs and poultry. These barns are poorly lit and sheep have to stand on concrete floors or even worse on metal slatted floors as you see in the picture below. 

Indeed it seems there is no limit to the torture which sheep endure.

"Within weeks of birth, lambs' ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated without anesthetics. Male lambs are castrated when they are between 2 and 8 weeks old, either by making an incision and cutting their testicles out or with a rubber ring used to cut off blood supply-one of the most painful methods of castration possible. Every year, hundreds of lambs die before the age of 8 weeks from exposure or starvation, and mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter, and neglect."

Extract from Peta's (People for the ethical treatment of animals) website Save the Sheep.

Visit their Tumblr blog to learn more about the atrocities committed upon sheep and lambs:
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/peta?before=1329015594

The RSPCA advocate the following in Surgical animal husbandry techniques
Dehorning - Lambs: (i.e., less than twelve weeks of age). i. Cautery - using heat only; and ii. Physical removal of the horn bud, using scraper blade or dehorning shears. No anaesthetic required.
Castration - Juvenile Males:
a. Knife - no anaesthetic necessary. The animal must be appropriately restrained, and adequate post-operative drainage essential; and
b. Rubber rings. This must be applied according to the manufacturer's recommendation Vaccination against tetanus should be given. No anaesthetic is required.
Docking:
a. knife; and

b. Rubber rings.

All sounds pretty painful doesn't it?!

The extract above was taken from the website below

Vegan Views 77 - Wool... the Reality for the Sheep.

Take Action For Sheep

The information above was gleaned from a variety of sources listed below. Many of these websites contain comprehensive information and actions you can take.

One of the most immediate of which is to stop eating meat and become vegetarian or vegan.

For information here on this website about how to become Vegetarian or preferably vegan click :
So you Want to become Vegi/Vegan  Here you will find links to information to help you become vegetarian or vegan

or visit Viva or PETA's websites :

PETA UK: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

"PETA US formed in 1980 in the United States and has more than 2 million members and supporters, making it the largest animal rights organisation in the world.

PETA US and PETA Europe are dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals."
 

In the UK, USA and Poland

Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Viva! USA

Viva! Walczymy o konie i inne zwierzeta

The above have many campaigns in which you can participate.

A comprehensive list of useful websites advocating veganism and vegetarianism, including both the vegetarian and Vegan societies and information about similar societies around the world, may be found here on this website:

So you want to go Vegan/Vegi  

Think Differently Go Vegi/Vegan

Videos depicting sheep cruelty and actions you can take

These videos which concern some of the appalling cruelty towards sheep are very distressing indeed . In fact some I cannot bring myself to view to the end. Please pass on to others by social media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, websites and so on. If we ever hope to stop this cruelty people need to know about the appalling suffering that is inflicted upon these gentle animals.

Live Export investigation From Animals Australia

Includes Animal Australia's film

WARNING: this video contains footage of Animals Australia's November 2010 Festival of Sacrifice investigation that was considered too distressing for television.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/investigations/live-export-investigation-2010.php

Stop Animal Cruelty: The Suffering of the Loving Lamb and Gentle Sheep

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjoUUBa4Z8

Animal cruelty throws spotlight on live sheep trade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwvE0-baZD0

The way forward here of course is to stop the transportation of sheep and ultimately stop exploiting these animals for their meat and wool both of which we no longer need. There is nothing humane about death, however improved the system of transport and slaughter.

Mulesing

Butt-Slashing Crosses the Pacific

Information and video

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/08/02/butt-slashing-crosses-the-pacific.aspx

Note: Australia's Prime minister is now Kevin Rudd and you can write to him here:

https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3082

Take Action to stop this barbarity

Animals Australia Investigations

Please write you do not have to be an Australian citizen to send a letter or an email to the Australian Prime Minister or Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/investigations/live-export-investigation-2010.php#action

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/investigations/live-export-investigation-2010.php

Help End the Hideously Cruel Live Export Industry

http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=4690&c=pukfpaa

If you live in Australia

Live export offloading cruelty exposed - TAKE ACTION

http://www.banliveexport.com/take_action/disembarkation-cruelty/

Live Export Hell at Sea for Sheep

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/live+export/default.aspx

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2010/12/08/live-sheep-export-hurts-humans.aspx

References and links:

The Suffering of Farmed Sheep
http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/factory//2443//

Midlands Vegan Campaigns
http://www.veganmidlands.org.uk/whyvegan/animalcruelty.html

The Wool Industry
Save the Sheep!The Wool Industry

Vegan Views 77 - Wool... the Reality for the Sheep

Veganism - Compassion

 

Important please note:

I am not an animal expert of any kind just your average person who loves animals, all animals, and feels deeply about the plight of many of our fellow creatures. Neither am I a writer, or any other expert. Therefore please keep in mind that the information included in this website has been researched to the best of my ability and any misinformation is quite by accident but of course possible.

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