When we took our UK trip last year, we had driven for days seeing UK sheep of many breeds. When we finally made it to the Shetland Islands, I was struck how the sheep there looked just like my sheep back home. It was a comfort to me to see all these familiar looking sheep.
Now there is an ugly debate going on now in the North American Shetland Sheep Association, and it involves the definition of a Shetland Sheep here in North America. I have already said my piece, that if these changes are allowed to continue that I will not be a member of this organization any longer. I have also written to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy about my concerns. As the fifth longest member in Washington State I do feel I know about Shetland Sheep and have researched the historical documents originating from the Shetland Islands. I am quite dismayed that newer members here are choosing to limit the breed here, especially at a time when the sheep on the Shetland Islands are again being threatened, this time by a misguided UK scrapie prevention program. It is all so sad that politics is again affecting these little sheep and right before the AGM, the first one I was going to be able to go to. So I guess I will avoid the ugliness, not financially support this association, and enjoy my little flock of sheep as they are.