Some nationalities (for example New Zealand and Wales) are the butt of jokes about bestiality, especially with sheep. What lead to this?

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    I've heard these ugly remarks about every nationality that now is, or ever has been, associated with sheep raising: Greeks, Palestinians, Jews, New Zealanders, Englishmen (and other Britons), and many others. It's just another way for a bully to harass the nationality of a victim. – Pieter Geerkens Mar 19 '15 at 4:44
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    @PieterGeerkens Wow. Maybe I should be asking "why sheep?" rather than "why New Zealanders and Welsh?"... – Andrew Grimm Mar 19 '15 at 4:58
  • They have a strong rural image which comes with sheeps. – user5001 Mar 19 '15 at 5:17
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    New Zealand and Wales have among the highest number of sheep per capita in the world (7.5pp and 3.6pp). Furthermore, New Zealand "has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world". – Uri Granta Mar 19 '15 at 9:36

As feudalism died and common men began to build themselves up in business, large scale sheep farming was a very popular way to riches. Sheep are cheap individually and prolific breeders, so men bred more and more sheep to expand and with the discovery and settlement of Australia and New Zealand, we now had great swathes of land ideally suited to carrying millions of sheep. Obviously with flocks that massive, it's a full-time job looking after them. These stock men would be out there with the sheep all day and all night, so you can see how those rumours emerged. Why sheep? I know as I am a shearer, that sheep can be manhandled (I know what you're thinking, but NO, not I) as opposed to larger animals, say, cattle. No one ever accused a cowboy, as it's obvious the animal will not take kindly to it. As expanding your flocks is the way to fortune, such men take an appropriate interest in breeding, too. As for Wales, I think it has to do with it being a remote, mountainous area which engages in a lot of sheep raising. It's how clueless, clean city folk put down the hardworking countrymen who keep them eating.

Congratulations, you asked a question about sheep-shagging and got a serious answer.

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    We also have more cattle than people in Australia in the same way, but try to mount one and you won't be doing it again. – Duncan Mar 19 '15 at 9:49
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    You know this how, exactly :-) – jamesqf Mar 19 '15 at 18:22
  • ;) funny how they accuse us while some middle eastern countries actually permit it and it's common. .. – Duncan Mar 19 '15 at 22:01
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    I love the way my web browser has inserted a line break after "Cheap individually, and prolific breeders, men bred more". (Actually, that's a straight up dangling participle: your grammatical structure says that the men, the subject of the sentence, are cheap and prolific breeders.) – David Richerby Mar 20 '15 at 0:39

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