Body Modification

I have been reported to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for having three untagged sheep on the premises.

It is illegal and, if I don’t tag them, I will be fined £5,000 this week.

So, with our backs up against the wall, we had no choice.

The sheeples are now all double tagged – one in each ear.  One with a microchip and one without.  Both have my flock number and their number.

We tagged them in the order they arrived in our lives.

Lambie is No 1.

‘Bert is No 2.

‘Ster is No 3.

What can I say?  I do not agree with this practice.  I think it is cruel, barbaric and very wrong.

When I asked why the sheeples should be tagged. I was told it was for identification purposes.   I could identify my three anywhere. They don’t leave the premises. They are pets.

If I tagged my dog, BeAnne, I would be reported for cruelty.  Why is it different rules for sheep (and cows)?  Do not use the argument that it doesn’t hurt them because it does.  While it was being done,Lambie ground his teeth (pain) and is now hanging his head on the floor.  He is very upset, he hurts and he is telling me.

Thirty minutes before they were tagged, Daisy and I put Emla (local anaesthetic cream) cream in their ears but I don’t think I put it in far enough so it didn’t work well.

‘Bert and ‘Ster pretty quickly got over their ordeal.  They’ve had chats, biscuits and scratches.

But I spent an hour sitting outside with Lambie playing him The Carpenters trying to calm him down.

Five hours on and Lambie is still very upset and stressed.  He is not lifting his head.  No biscuits in the world is going to make this situation better.  I may have to buy some medical Wotsits.

My poor boys.  Bureaucracy stinks.

21 thoughts on “Body Modification

  1. Rebeccca A Final

    So sorry the boys had to go through that. It is idiotic that a government feels the need to step in on EVERYTHING, even if it does not concern them. Is there no type of “sheep aspirin” that could give Lambie some relief? Hugs.

  2. Chris

    Nice of the people to report you. I’m guessing you have a pretty good idea who it was. I hate the tagging of animals, of course it causes pain and discomfort. I remember being taken to a livestock market in Chichester by my grandparents very many years ago. They thought I would enjoy seeing all the animals. All I remember is the blood running down the ears of the lambs and calves after they were tagged along with the bleating noise of fear and pain from them all. If it’s any consolation at least your three were treated with care and dignity, the majority of animals are not.
    Hugs the you and the flock..

  3. Vicki

    Some people have nothing better to do. And how about minding one’s own beeswax? Whoever put in that ‘report’ knows full well that your pet sheep are just that, pets.

  4. Margaret Robinson

    I don’t disagree with you at all! Poor sheep. However, I suppose that it’s not just for your id purposes, but in case they did get out, DEFRA would have a record and be able to identify them as yours. Jeez! It’s such a fiefdom in the government world and who turned you in?

    Poor Lambie – maybe it’s hurt along with just having something foreign about his ears that’s bothering him. Whatever, it’s a Big Bother!. MMR

  5. Kara

    Horrid! Couldn’t they just get a microchip injected under the skin to be scanned in case one of them gets out? Government barbarians!

  6. The Green Dogs

    Oh, I so hate tagging the poor sheep! It does hurt them and it is cruel. I have been worried about your sheep and their lack of tags because I knew that if the wrong person saw them then you’d be in trouble. I’m very sorry it has happened, though. Why must we have two tags as well? It’s excessive, and all the more risk of getting ripped ears! I had a ewe with two ripped ears thanks to these awful tags. I did think that you would be able to get away with it, though, because as you say they are pets and not destined for the food chain. I agree with Kara that some sort of microchip would be much better.

    Poor Lambie! I hope he stops hurting soon. 🙁

  7. Terri

    I was hoping that this day would never arrive, but I suppose it was inevitable, some people being spiteful busy-bodies, and the government having to respond. (Time to modify those rules, folks!) So sorry, especially for dear lil Lambie. I too wonder why sheep and cattle can’t be microchipped, a more humane alternative.

  8. Darby

    I am so sorry that your and the sheepies had to go through this, such unnecessary pain ans suffering! I am hoping sweet lambie will be feeling better. long distance hugs to all.

  9. diane in northern wisconsin, US

    aww…poor little guys…so sorry that happened to your beautiful sheep. I sure hope Lambie is feeling better soon and can forget all about it, somehow. Thanks for always keeping us informed, Frances. We love the gang at your house…2 feet or 4 feet!

  10. Nancy

    How awful of some people!
    Poor sheepies. I hope Lambie feels better soon!
    I am so sorry to hear about this.
    Hugs to all of you!

  11. Louise Stopford

    I agree with everyone else’s comments. It does seem terribly harsh when you keep them on your own land as pets. The proofs in the pudding as Lambie was obviously distressed about the whole experience so this just shows how painful and upsetting this procedure is. Hope he is feeling better – do let us know how he is going on.

  12. Sam

    I wonder how the person who reported you would feel if THEY were ear tagged? I hope Lambie heals and comes running to Muzzah for biscuits soon.


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