(Thanks to BJSAlba for these.)
Hellfire sizzle for
wayward Scottish sheep
Councillors in the Scottish Highlands plan to reintroduce the death penalty – for jay-walking sheep.
They claim that sheep are responsible for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents and must be taught a lesson in road sense. To help the sheep mend their ways, they propose an increasing scale of penalties:
· First offenders will be fined and fleeced – shorn of their wool which will be sold to cover the fines imposed. Repeated shearing will follow if the first clip does not raise enough money.
· Second offenders will be deported to Aberdeen, where residents are well-known for their fondness for indiscretions with deviant sheep.
· Serial offenders will go straight to the abattoir and butchery – first cursed by a priest or minister before entering a purgatory of spit-roasts and oven casseroles.
“Pass the mint sauce!” said Sandy Munro, area representative for Benderloch, north of Oban, the West Highland resort town. “Sheep have been causing carnage on our roads for too long and it’s time they learned the error of their ways.”
But local opinion is divided on the value of the penalties. John MacKinnon, who has a flock of prize Texel sheep on his farm at Kilmore, south of Oban, believes the death penalty is extreme over-reaction.
“As a good Catholic and a caring sheep-farmer, this is completely against my beliefs,” he said. “All life is sacred and can’t just be sacrificed on the whim of councillors. I would recommend amputation as a far more humane answer.
“Removing a leg or a shoulder at a time would sustain the market for lamb and mutton and simultaneously help solve the jay-walking problem. Three-legged sheep – or even two-legged ones – would be less capable of jay-walking or dashing unexpectedly into the way of oncoming traffic.
“I also recommend that the fines money raised from fleecing should be used for education, particularly Highway Code classes. In my own case, our lambs are taught from an early age to obey the rules of the road but this is very much an exception in the world of Highland agriculture. The sheep population as a whole would benefit from educational outreach – and the result would benefit our road-users and eliminate the need for the extreme measures that councillors are calling for.”
In Mull, clan chief and sheep farmer Lorne Maclaine of Maclaine of Lochbuie agreed with the educational proposal, adding recommendations of his own.
“I spend my time between Mull and South Africa, where the famous Karoo sheep are far less of a hazard to road users,” he said. “I believe an exchange programme would be very useful – bringing South African sheep to the Highlands to pass on their know-how, and sending ours to South Africa for first-hand experience and acquiring new skills to bring home and teach to their fellow flock members.
“At one time, we could well have secured EU funding for this – as well as using the fines money raised – but with the current Brexit chaos over agricultural subsidies, unfortunately I think this is now very unlikely.”
But in Aberdeen, the deportation plan was widely acclaimed. Bob Cassie, president of the Sheep Happy and Glad movement (SHAG) said: “We believe that most of the offenders will be young and female, which will appeal strongly to our members – and boost genetic diversity.
“Here in Aberdeen, we all look forward to welcoming them with open arms – and open zips.”
The death-penalty for sheep story is the latest scoop by e-Nos, the secretive ‘community minded’ hacker group which is believed to be Russian-based but many suspect operates from Bulgaria, the former Soviet satellite state which is now a member of the European Union.
e-Nos describes itself as “relieving indigestion in governments’ information flow” – by hacking emails and phone calls by politicians that would otherwise remain undetected. And as always, Real Fake News will be first with the news they don’t want you to know.
(Thanks to John MacDonald for that inspired piece of erm… reporting!)