Tuesday 27 September 2016

'Aran want to save Dynamo the lamb from slaughter. Did you ever hear anything so ridiculous?' - Darragh McCullough

Published 26/01/2016 | 12:01

Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show
Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show

So now the Animal Rights Action Network (Aran) want to save Dynamo the lamb from slaughter.

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Did you ever hear anything so ridiculous in your life?

Yesterday Aran announced that they are launching a ‘campaign’ to save Dynamo, and his Late Late co-stars –let’s just call them the Lamby family – from death.

Spokesperson John Carmody said: "Whilst Aran would never want to prop up such an industry, we would be willing to come to some financial agreement to save the lives of the two lambs and their mother."

A lamb tests out TJ Gormley's new tagging system on RTE's Late Late Show
A lamb tests out TJ Gormley's new tagging system on RTE's Late Late Show

Big deal. So Aran are going to come up with the princely sum of the €200 it would take to buy a ewe and two lambs.

And for what? So that they can see out their days on lush pastures, living to ripe old sheep-age before they, er, die?

Presumably, the kindly Aran folk will then organise a burial at a suitable location (good luck with trying to get that past the Department of Agriculture authorities) to spare the happy family from that dreaded scenario…of being eaten?

In an era when concerns is growing about farm animals clogging up our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, Aran are going to keep some of those same animals alive for as long as possible, and then waste the meat that they’ve been bred to produce.

Ryan Tubridy with Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show
Ryan Tubridy with Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show

The other angle that seems to go over the heads of sheep-huggers is that these animals are not being deprived of their natural habitat by being kept (and handled) on farms. Sheep can’t survive in the wild. They need to be treated for parasites and maggots to keep them alive. They also need to be sheared every year to make sure they don’t die of heat stress created by an unshorn fleece.

That’s because the modern-day sheep is a man-created thing – it’s designed to produce wool and meat. If man doesn’t intervene to harvest the wool, the sheep suffers.

The same real-world realities are the reason that Dynamo the lamb appeared on the Late Late in the first place. He was used to demonstrate a carousel designed in Galway to make tagging and tail ringing easier for farmers. Why do they need their tails ringed? Because long wooly tails get very dirty and become magnets for maggots that, if left untreated, will eat the sheep alive.

The animals need to be tagged if we are to be able to roll out recalls on food when something goes wrong in the food chain. Remember Foot and Mouth, BSE, pork dioxin and more recently horsemeat? As sure as night follows day, there’ll be more of these scares, and the best way of dealing with them is to have a traceable trail back to the source.

Was Dynamo harmed during his Late Late appearance? Not in the slightest. In fact, he epitomised good farming practice, with his spotless coat and bright eyes.

Aran accuse RTE of sacrificing the lamb’s welfare for the sake of entertainment. By starting a tokenistic campaign to ‘save’ the lamb’s life, they are guilty of milking this for all it’s worth and, in the process, jumping on the same entertainment bandwagon that they lambast.

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