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"Modern Farming" by S.Graham Brade-Birks (1950). The experienced shepherd is explaining tail docking to the newcomer: Extract page 103

"I can see why the males are castrated, but why cut their tails short?" asks Mr Stanhope.

The Blow Fly

"I can answer that one fairly easily," says Ned. "Sheep are not very clean animals, unfortunately, and to put it in blunt Enfglish, very apt to dirty their trousers. Why does that matter? Well- I'll tell you. During the hot weather the blow fly wants somewhere to lay her eggs and she always chooses a place where her children can find something to eat when they are born. Preferably flesh. The smell of dung on sheep seems to give the blow fly the sign for which she is looking. The longer a sheep's tail, the longer the space of soiled wool. We try to make these dirty trousers as small as possible by cutting their tails short. Can you suggest anything better?"

























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