Today's WTF?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2009 11:23 PM GMT
    http://gizmodo.com/5239243/sheep+shearing-robot-is-tough-to-watch-in-action

    Isn't there--perhaps--a more humane way of removing their coats?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2009 1:00 AM GMT
    I'm not even an animal rights person per se, and that's one of the creepiest things I've seen in a while.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    May 05, 2009 1:01 AM GMT
    I'm traumatized, and I'm not even a sheep.

    Technology isn't always a good thing.
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    May 05, 2009 1:27 AM GMT
    icon_eek.gif
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    May 05, 2009 1:31 AM GMT
    I grew up on a farm and we had the sheep sheared by hand. Inevitably, they struggled and ended up with cuts as a result. The guy shearing them couldn't hold them and shear them well at the same time. And that's after he had them sitting upright on their rump as though they were in a barber chair.

    The video certainly doesn't make it look comfortable for the sheep. But I didn't see the sheep get any lacerations either. So, all in all, I guess it's good. Plus, the last sheep shearer I knew retired 40 years ago. So I guess they have to do it somehow.

    Anecdotally, sheep are so dumb that after one is sheared and comes back to the herd, the other sheep don't recognize him.
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    May 05, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    Money well spent my good chapicon_neutral.gif
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    May 05, 2009 1:34 AM GMT
    I've never done it but I've seen people do it a lot faster.

    And how much work went into getting the sheep onto the rack.

    Fail!
  • hoo4u

    Posts: 119

    May 05, 2009 1:58 AM GMT
    Sheep shearer is not a top career choice among today's Yoots. (Note to the uninformed, that's a line from an American Comedy "My Cousin Vinnie")

    icon_neutral.gif
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 05, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    Heh. A former professor of mine worked as a sheep shearer in the time between dropping out of college and getting his PhD. Odd life story, that man...
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    May 05, 2009 2:01 AM GMT
    Daytona said
    And how much work went into getting the sheep onto the rack.


    I wondered that myself. Likely as long as it'd take to shear them manually.

    And the comment about the sheep not recognizing the sheared ones is very true and oft times funny to watch.
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    May 05, 2009 2:03 AM GMT
    That wasn't bad at all! When a person hand shears a sheep the animal is often bleeding in places when it's all done.

    Cotton and synthetics feel better against the skin anyway!

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    May 05, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
    Reminds of NIN's "Happiness in Slavery" video.
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    May 05, 2009 2:44 AM GMT
    They're just getting sheared, not turned into lamb chops. Keep some perspective.
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    May 05, 2009 2:54 AM GMT
    That was kinda creepy. A few years ago I read that someone was working on a hormone that when injected caused the wool to become very brittle at the follicle. The idea was that you could easily pull all the wool off in a few seconds before the sheep even knew what was happening. I'm not sure if they got any further on that.
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    May 05, 2009 2:56 AM GMT
    I wonder if the sheep are sedated?
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    May 05, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    I can just see things going horribly horribly wrong..
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    May 05, 2009 3:02 AM GMT
    Pinny saidI wonder if the sheep are sedated?


    I'd like to think so.. icon_eek.gif
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    May 05, 2009 3:06 AM GMT
    Pinny saidI wonder if the sheep are sedated?

    Maybe they just give them some mint sauce so they'll know what the alternative is.
  • Sirkit

    Posts: 182

    May 05, 2009 3:12 AM GMT
    I've seen manual jobs and it's way worse. If anything I would call this the humane choice, weird and disturbing, but better than the alternative.
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    May 05, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    I guess the most inhumane bit was spreadeagling the sheep, or the bit right at the end where the guy tries to pull the remaining bits out.

    I'd have to agree that it seems a fair bit less rough than when they're shawn manually.
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    May 05, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
    I think it's a waste of time. This sheep could be sheered manually much faster than the 5 minutes the robot took plus the required restraint time. Either way the sheep would need to be restrained.

    I don't think it's really a case for PETA.

    While I was in school, it was common practice for many farmers to castrate piglets and calves without anesthetic, just a scalpel blade. PETA and such groups go after animal research when they should focus their efforts elsewhere. icon_confused.gif
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    May 05, 2009 5:06 AM GMT
    I guess I agree with the fact that the animal didn't get cut up because it couldn't struggle. I would like to see video of the animal being mounted on the rack, and afterwards before I made a judgement. It would also be easier to be rationale in my reaction if I could see the beginning to end hand-shearing of a sheep to compare.

    The video only took five minutes but there were a lot of wipes and changes in the scene, so it could have taken longer.

    Lacking convincing evidence of its superiority in humanely shearing sheep (the before and after film of the sheep itself) This device seems like one more piece of expensive equipment that ranchers/farmers have to take out loans to buy when a skilled guy with shears can do the same thing for a heck of alot less.

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    May 05, 2009 5:30 AM GMT
    manual sheering tends to be a lot rougher. I dont know about getting the animal in the rack but at least it is restrained and not being pulled about by the neck in this instance. it would be faster if they used the rack and a person to sheer. they obviously have a person putting the sheep in the rack and they could shear them faster.
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    May 05, 2009 5:46 AM GMT
    I could see why this is a little more humane and efficient. They even fall asleep. I think as long as you could restrain them without any injury it'd be good.

    LOL I have to admit, I fall asleep at the dentists practically every time. Without anesthesia. They think its funny when I start snoring while they're whirring away on my teeth. icon_lol.gif
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    May 05, 2009 5:55 AM GMT
    26mileman saidI think it's a waste of time. This sheep could be sheered manually much faster than the 5 minutes the robot took plus the required restraint time. Either way the sheep would need to be restrained.

    I don't think it's really a case for PETA.

    While I was in school, it was common practice for many farmers to castrate piglets and calves without anesthetic, just a scalpel blade. PETA and such groups go after animal research when they should focus their efforts elsewhere. icon_confused.gif


    I grew up on my grandparent's hog farm. Grandpa used a ka-bar instead of a scalpel. Him and my uncle just cut the nuts out fed them to the dog, gave the pigs a shot of antibiotic and sent them on their way. This was probably the least of my farm related childhood traumas. I would tell you about slaughtering then butchering, but I'd rather not upset people too much.