Annette, an Australian sheep farmer, said that she loved lamb, but couldn’t bear the thought of killing it.
“When I got married, I didn’t really want to have kids,” she said.
“I loved my husband and he loved me and he was very, very happy.
So I thought, ‘I’m just going to let my wife go.’
I’m leaving it for him.” “
I thought, it’s OK, I’m just leaving.
I’m leaving it for him.”
The next day, Annette found her lamb ears lying on the ground.
It wasn’t a surprise.
“It’s been raining for days now,” she told Business Insider.
“We were in the backyard, the lamb was just lying on its side.
And I thought I’d just leave it on the back, I’d never leave it there.”
Annette said she’d never let her husband’s death hit her family hard.
“So that was really hard,” she continued.
“The whole family had been together for years and I just felt like my family was broken.
So when I saw my son cry I just just went straight to the vet.
I went to the vets.
They put a tube in him.
I had to put a collar on him, put a band on him.”
So, Anette decided to have the ears removed, and then she had to take them back to the lamb farm.
She was not happy with what she’d seen.
“They said, you’re going to need a lamb collar, a lamb head,” she recalled.
“And I just said, what’s a lamb?
A lamb’s a fowl.
You know what I mean?
I don’t know what a fowler is, I’ve never heard of a fowler.”
An old lamb’s head and neck were left.
Annette says she was told the head was from a flock of sheep, and it was still in good condition.
But when she returned to the farm the next morning, she found her ears gone.
“He had the collar, but it wasn’t from the flock.
So the vet just told me that I’ve got to get the lamb head back and put it on,” she added.
“There were just so many questions.
I’d had enough.
I’ve lost my husband, my family.
You can’t have any more questions.” “
You just get fed up with it.
You can’t have any more questions.”
The sheep had been on their way to slaughter for two months when they were sent back to Annette’s family farm.
“Then I got the phone call from the farmer saying, ‘Your ears are gone, you’ve got no ears,'” she said, describing the moment she realised she’d lost her husband.
“For me, it was like I’d lost my mind.”
It was an emotional moment for Annette.
“Because I was so upset,” she admitted.
“What can I say?
I felt like crying.
I was just completely devastated.”
She’s now left with the head of her lamb and the ear of the lamb she never had.
“But that was the best part of it,” she concluded.
“A lamb ear is so sweet, so wonderful.”
An unusual case of lamb ear theft, but is it legal?
“It happens all the time, it happens to all the sheep,” Annette explained.
“If you think about the circumstances, it really doesn’t happen that often.”
But the act of removing a sheep’s ears, while rare, is a serious offence.
According to the Australian Federal Police, it is illegal to take sheep’s wool and other parts of the animal’s body.
This includes, but isn’t limited to, the head, neck, and the ears.
“To take any part of a sheep, whether it’s its ears, whether its legs, its tail, its face, its body, is very, highly illegal,” Inspector John Geddes, of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, told Business in Asia.
“Anybody who does this is committing a serious crime, it could result in a penalty of up to six months imprisonment.”
A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources told Business In Asia that there are “no specific regulations in Australia governing the harvesting of sheep wool”.
The Department of Animal Health and the Department for Agriculture and Resources did not respond to a request for comment.
Is it legal to remove lamb ears?
“If a person has any doubts about the legality of taking sheep’s head or wool, it should be brought to the attention of the relevant authority,” Inspector Gedds told Business.
“This is something that can be brought up in court, it can be done.”
But is it really illegal to kill an animal?
Annette is not the only sheep farmer to have lost her head