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Farmers Go "Ewe!" At New N.Z. Stamp

New Zealand Post may be feeling a little, well, sheepish right now. One of its new Farmyard Animals stamps shows two Merino lambs with their mother, and Mom has a pair of powerful, curled horns - which are found only on rams.

Opposition lawmaker Katherine Rich of the National Party says Merino ewes only have tiny stumps of horn, if any at all.

"The stamp is an absolute impossibility," she complained.

And, no, that's not the lambs' father acting protective, either. Rich says the adult sheep in the picture lacks any trace of, uh, certain equipment.

New Zealand is famous for its beautiful meadows full of lambs. Its 40 million sheep outnumber its human population 10:1.

"Given the sheep is a major icon of this country, you'd think they would have at least passed the stamp design by someone with knowledge of agriculture," Rich said, adding that the stamps should be withdrawn.

Robert Gibson, a farmer who has 7,000 merino sheep and is chairman of the New Zealand Stud Merino Breeders' Society, agreed.

"You'd never get a ewe looking like that," he said.

The stamp's designer, artist Samuel Sakaria, admitted taking artistic license.

"The males have the curly horns," he said. "I thought just to add a bit of a dynamic I'd just add in the male equivalent as opposed to the female."

For more on the Farmyard stamps and discussion, visit our message board.

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