The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62
Clothing and Housing of Sheep
Clothing and Housing of Sheep
The next subject for consideration was that of clothing sheep for show purposes.
The Sub-Committee's remarks were as follows :—" This is a subject which is the cause of a great deal of private discussion, and no doubt will be warmly gone into here to-day, as there are very strong advocates for and against this practice. On the one hand it is claimed that every man has a right to bring out his stock as he thinks best, while others claim that the system of the so-called pampering of sheep should be abolished, as they consider it only misleading to the uninitiated, and likely to lead to disappointment to many purchasers."
Mr T. Brydone moved—"That the classes for housed and clothed sheep be done away with at shows in future." He had a very strong opinion on this subject for a long time, as he held that forcing sheep for show purposes was unnatural. Besides, this, it might result in sheep of weak constitutions taking prizes as against sound ones. He looked upon clothing sheep as a mistake, and it was very misleading to purchasers who might not be good judges. There were, he thought, plenty of reasons why the system of housing and clothing sheep should be done away with, and there- page 9 fore his resolution would he thought, receive the support of all the practical fanners present. Another strong reason was that the classes became split up. The expense, too, of housing and clothing prevented many men who had good stock but were not wealthy from exhibiting. In a country like this, where sheep could do well in the open, it was not necessary to clothe them.
Mr Carswell seconded the motion. They had had a meeting of their longwool sheep breeders the other day, and they were all in favour of the doing away with these classes. He supported the motion.
Mr Pashby suggested that it should be left to the option of the exhibitor whether he housed and clothed his sheep or not.
Mr D. Thomas would be glad to accept Mr Brydone's motion if he added that a sworn declaration should accompany the exhibit that the sheep entered had not been housed and clothed.
Mr Pashby contended that it was offering a premium tor dishonesty. He was prepared to swear that sheep showing the mark of the cloth had got prizes at the Christchurch show last year in the unclothed classes. As to persons being misled, he did not think that this would occur more than once. He was of opinion that they should give sheep exhibitors the same liberty as those exhibiting horses and cattle.
Mr Bidwell supported Mr Brydone's motion. He could say that they had brought sheep from the South which had been clothed and had never got any progeny from these animals, and the result was that they died next winter.
Mr McLaren supported the motion. This was a very important matter, and he would call their attention to the fact that if they bred from housed or clothed sheep the constitution of their animals would be deteriorated seriously.
Mr Brydone could not agree to make it compulsory that declarations should be made. If any doubt was expressed the declaration might be asked for. He would have no objection to allow of clothing while in transit.
Mr McLaren suggested that it would, perhaps, be as well to ask the Railway Commissioners for covered trucks.
Mr John Deans said the Canterbury Association had stuck to the housed and clothed classes for some years, but had only given half prizes. The reason they had done so was that they would shut out many exhibitors if they took out the class, and besides they wished to give the utmost possible scope to exhibitors.
Mr Holmes would like to see an addition to the resolution to the effect that sheep might be covered during transit to the shows. If this were not done the exhibitor living at a distance would be placed at a disadvantage.
Mr Brydone said he would be willing to accept the addition of words to the effect that sheep might be covered during transit.
The words "That clothing be allowed during the transit of sheep to and from the shows" were added to the resolution, and it was carried.
Mr D. Thomas said that he now wished to move the following resolution—"That no sheep be received for show purposes except accompanied by a declaration that they have not been housed or clothed, unless duringtransit."
Mr Pashby seconded the motion, which was put and carried on a division.