Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gap filler - hot potato issue

Till I get some time to finish off the last bit of a ball of 'multicolori' in a K2 tog, YO pattern, I'll have no fun pics for you, so instead here are some links about the practice of mulesing sheep in Australia, and what is being done to improve things.
A sheep farm
Meat & Livestock Australia
CSIRO looks at mulesing and alternatives
Mulesing pain-relief in a spray
Wonderful quote about bare breech sheep at the end of this one
Sheep bums - up close and personal

Disclaimer: I've been an assistant at lamb-marking time, which is when mulesing is performed; it is done as quickly, cleanly and efficiently as possible, the young lambs recover very quickly, and for many years is has been the only viable way to prevent fly-strike. On most Australian sheep properties it is not possible to physically examine every sheep frequently enough to use topical treatments, nor can we eradicate the flies in the environment. Removing the problem area was all that could be done. I think that the genetic studies and selective bare-breech breeding programs will be very valuable, but that is still some way off.