Tesco tells shepherds to stop using dogs

by Darren Jamieson on April 6, 2009

Tesco may have the slogan ‘every little helps’, but they don’t believe that dogs help shepherds. Tesco has told shepherds in New Zealand to stop using dogs to herd their sheep because they stress the sheep. The shepherds have been advised to use sticks to herd their sheep instead.

The shepherds provide Tesco with lamb for their chain of stores, and they’re dismayed at the result that 60 sheep dogs are now without employment because of Tesco’s demands.

The move by Tesco to insist that Silver Fern Farms in Fairton stops using dogs to herd sheep has baffled animal welfare experts, as dogs have been used to herd sheep for centuries.

Mick Petheram is one of the shepherds in New Zealand, he stated:

New Zealand sheep are used to dogs, they know dogs. There’s more stress in a human herding and manhandling them, waving their arms and beating sticks. Dogs are part of a sheep’s life. This is absolute baloney.

We’ll be desperately trying to sell them, but most of us will end up putting down three or four each. These are bloody good dogs. Taking away our dogs is like taking a hammer away from a builder; we can’t do our job without them.

Tesco claimed that when they visited the farm they saw sheep dogs ‘running riot’ as the sheep were herded into the abattoir. A spokesperson for Tesco stated:

We don’t have a problem with sheep dogs, but we need to make sure they move the sheep in a considerate manner, so they don’t stress the sheep out.

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