A bill challenging Maryland's 4-H Sheep Tail Docking Policy was introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. If the bill passes, it would prohibit Maryland Cooperative Extension from adopting a rule, regulation, or policy regarding the tail docking of livestock for exposition at Maryland open or 4-H livestock shows. The bill was introduced by Delegate Barry Glassman, a Republican who represents District 35A (Harford County). It has 12 co-sponsors. A public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 1 at 1 p.m. in Annapolis.
House Bill 1097
Maryland's 4-H Tail Docking Policy states, "Lambs born after January 1, 2005 will be accepted for exhibition only if tails are not docked shorter than the level of the distal end of the caudal tail fold. Lambs that are properly docked will have a minimum tail length of 0.7 inches at show, measured by the approved measuement device, which will be placed against the base of the tail and pin bones." The policy is based on research that strongly implicated short tail docks as a cause of rectal prolapses in lambs finished on high concentrate rations.
A candid discussion on the tail docking controversy