Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tail Docking Brochure

Maryland is one of several states that has a tail docking policy for 4-H sheep and lambs. To learn about Wyoming's policy, read this brochure (PDF). The brochure has a diagram showing the location of the coccygeal vertebra. To show sheep in Wyoming, 4-Hers must have a signed certificate from a veterinarian that says their lamb has a minimum of three full coccygeal vertabrae in place.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

We have gone through this tail docking problem in CA. Is it liftable, will it stop a credit card, will it stop a pencil, is it at the end of the caudal fold.... on and on. None of them worked well since it was so subjective. So I see what this rule is trying to do - and that is to get away from the subjectivity of different people seeing the problem differently. But...do we really want to require young kids, whose profit margin may already be slim to none, to go to the extra expense to have a vet certify that it has three vertebrae intact? And do we really want to ask a busy vet, whose practice is most likely in horses (about the only place THEY make money) to travel fifteen or thirty miles to look at the wrong end of a lamb? It seems rediculous to me. If the idea is to get rid of prolapse, why not just throw out prolapsing lambs, require that they have adquate finish and really are market ready so that the feed lots don't have to hold them for thirty days or so. At a time when suburban sprawl is taking up rural areas and agricultural electives are in jepardy in the schools, don't make it harder for kids to get involved in a wholesome activity.