Some of you may look mockingly at a lamb in a nappy and consider that you prefer your young mutton with mashed potato, gravy and a nice cabernet/merlot.

You may also admire practicality though, and Tanya Koens' care of a 13-day-old lamb rejected by its mum includes plenty of that. The nappy for example, is stopping Abby the lamb messing up Tanya's shop "Flowers by Tanya".

The other thing you have to admire is Tanya's love of animals. It's a stark contrast to what we have seen around Hawke's Bay in the past week or so.

The dumping of more than 40 pheasants on Westshore Beach is macabre and bizarre. Judy Tindall found them and told us: "They were in bunches of four, two and one - it looked like they had been strangled." It's also how a game bird gets strung up after a hunt - hopefully they died quickly.


The social media conspiracy theory hotline has run hot ... 1080 poison was one theory. But that wouldn't explain the birds that had been shot. It may not be that cruelty was at play, but to dump them shows scant disregard for their worth or respect for their life as a game bird. They could at least have been disposed of with some dignity.

Fish and Game are investigating - if hunters did this then they have some education work on their hands.

What Fish and Game can't investigate though is the dumping of harrier hawks this past week. That's because game birds come under their jurisdiction - birds of prey don't. Who knew there was avian politics?

In asking DOC about the harrier hawks, Hawke's Bay Today has struck a wall of silence - and is now in the situation of contemplating an Official Information Act request to find out information about possible animal cruelty.

Usually, government departments are only too happy to share information that might lead to public education, enlightenment or apprehension. DOC obviously have their reasons for not wanting to share information publicly.

From what we understand, harrier hawks that had been "cable tied" were dumped on or near a Hastings river bank. Just what cabled tied means, again, we're not too sure.

But, again, the discovery has led to speculation. The one surety around cruelty to animals is that humans who treat animals badly often mistreat fellow humans as well.

And that's why animal lovers like Tanya are worth celebrating. Abby is one lucky lamb, and so what if she is happy in a nappy.