The 2009 Maryland 4-H Tail Docking Policy remains unchanged from 2008. 4-H lambs should be docked no shorter than the distal end of the caudal tail fold. Lambs docked in this manner will have a minimum tail length of 0.7 inches at the time of show, as determined by the approved measuring device.
Purchased lambs should have a minimum tail length of 1.4 inches at the time of "weaning." This gives a high probability that the lamb's tail will measure at least 0.7 inches at the time of show. 4-Hers should use the DeTail device to select lambs that have been properly docked.
Compliance with the Maryland 4-H Tail Docking Policy is voluntary. Lamb tails (docks) will not be officially measured at any Maryland 4-H activity. No lambs will be disqualified from showing due to tail length, unless the short dock has resulted in a rectal prolapse.
Any sheep or lamb that exhibits a rectal prolapse at a 4-H activity will be ineligible for the activity and sent home by the Extension Educator, Sheep Superintendent, or other appropriately deemed individual. Lambs with purse-string sutures will also be ineligible for exhibition in 4-H activities.
Exhibitors and breeders who complied with 2008 Maryland 4-H Tail Docking Policy are to be commended for maintaining high ethical standards.