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The Sheepman

Naomi Frost

Charlestown, Australia

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 54

Artist's Description


I took this portrait of my father-in-law after a day of lamb marking on the farm.

For those of you unsure of what Lamb Marking is, here’s a little insight…..

The purpose of lamb marking is to identify, castrate and dock the tails of lambs. The lambs are restrained in a cradle and Ear Marked. In NSW it is compulsory to put the owner’s registered mark in the ear using specially designed ear-marking pliers. They are then Ear tagged in the center of the ear or slightly towards the end.
To castrate the sheep a rubber ring is placed over the scrotum just above the testicles. The ring blocks blood circulation, causing the scrotum and testicles to eventually wither and fall off. To remove their tails a gas-heated de-tailer is used. The heat cauterises the blood vessels, which virtually eliminates bleeding. Sometimes not all blood vessels are cauterised, hence the blood splatter. But the alternative is to cut the tails off with a knife which leaves the sheep to bleed.
And amongst all of that they are also given their vaccination (which is what I did to over 460 lambs).

And yes, I know this may be controversial…

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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