lambfarm at sover.net
Thu Nov 30 08:51:13 EST 2000
You know, Edd, and everyone else, we've lost something here: I think that that cameraderie and connectedness that comes from a group of people working together and trusting each other is important. Maybe that's part of where it comes from in JSBA, which I find so very different from other breed organizations I'm part of--the sharing, the excitement of discovering new bloodlines,...I'm not so sure that the concern over OPP isn't more a question of hysteria over OPP. Of course, we need to be careful, and check out each others' flocks visually, if no other way, but there's a vast difference between lending out a ram to some guy with a petting zoo who wants to cross them with barbs, to lending/sharing rams among a couple of breeders who know each other's flocks, and the history of them. AT times, taking risks is what builds community. If a friend of mine did not test for OPP, but I had known them and their flocks for several years and know which, if any, ewes had died, and what was the likely cause, and there had been no symptoms, I'd lend the ram! And I would be totally honest with them and with any other customers about the fact that I had done so! Those who buy from me know that I invite them to bring their ewe lambs back here to be bred as yearlings, so long as I know the flock and the history. If I end up with OPP, so be it. I absolutely refuse to live my life motivated by fear! I would guess that one could argue that there's a thin line between fear and responsibility. And I would agree. The risk, however, I think, is minimal, if you are responsible, and everyone has to define for themselves just what degree of responsibility they wish to engage in.
The fear that made/makes people avoid others with cancer, AIDS, etc., on the off chance that they will be contaminated or exposed saddens me, and I certainly wouldn't engage in irresponsible activities with these people, but I will have relationships with them. I hope that this OPP thing doesn't polarize breeders into the haves and have-nots on the
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