British shepherds have come out in protest over their French counterparts, who they accuse of ‘stealing British sheep’ in the sunlit uplands. The alleged raids have been occurring after recent EU negotiations have failed to establish territories and both British and French fields have been declared ‘international pastures’.
The British also claim to be victims of sabotage, saying their crooks have been deliberately shortened, while the French have accused the Brits of confusing their dogs by teaching them new contradictory whistles. Both accuse the other of not throwing back errant llamas.
The dispute centres round quotas determining the number of sheep allowed to be trawled by a single dog, and paddock size, which farmers have complained causes perfectly good sheep to be thrown back into the field. The protest culminated in a 15-hour standoff in a Surrey field, in which two sheepdogs stared intently at each other.
A British shepherd who wishes to remain anonymous said: ‘The French come over here at night. Instead of taking just a few they trawl the whole landscape using hundreds of highly-trained border terriers. There’s no respect for international laws and flock quotas – they even trawl up cows and families having picnics, dumping them at the coast before returning home with their catch.’
The EU, who distribute flocking licences, have been called upon to resolve the issue. A spokesperson said: ‘It’s a tough one… you want to establish territories for the British and French fields, but it’s incredibly complicated. We have a team of our top bureaucrats trying to hammer it out right now, but how can it possibly be achieved? The whole thing is an enigma.’