Other breeds have long wooly tails and it has become standard practice to dock the tails very short. The rationale behind this is that the animal stays cleaner without feces or urine clinging to the tail wool and breeding for ewes is easier without a long wooly tail to get in the way.
But, tails are there for a reason and yes, fly strike is awful and can be deadly, but tails can be swished to keep the animals more comfortable around biting insects and the tails protect the delicate tissues from sunburn and animal bites. When showing Jacob sheep, a very old unimproved breed, the tails are allowed to be left on and whole and no points are taken off for natural tails. Most other breeds, especially commercial breeds, suffer the cruelty of removing almost the entire tails. Usually the tail is banded with a tiny elastic band shortly after birth, certainly within the first week of life, and often at the same time as the testicles are banded. The little lambs cry and dance. I am sure any male would if a very tight band that cut the blood flow to his most private parts was installed. Ouch!!!! The tail bands are nearly as uncomfortable.
There are long tailed, fat tailed and short rat tailed sheep at The Fat Ewe Farm. Some have docked tails and only a few are castrated via the elastic bands. Most ram lambs are left in tact and kept in a ram pen. Their fate is usually for meat anyhow and they grow faster with everything in tact. There is no reason to put them through the terrible pain and discomfort of castration.
As far as the tails go, at this point, some are docked, but the leaning is to leaving the tails on as well. There have been on issues for breeding except with Dora, the very fat tailed Karakul sheep. Either she is infertile or her tail presents too much of a problem to non Karakul rams. So far, there has not been a case of fly strike. The first year, I actually hosed down and clipped the tail area on several sheep that feces encrusted wool. Now shearing later seems to make a difference and shearing the tail also helps. The long tails let the sheep swat at bugs and keep the exposed parts out of the sun and not exposed, if you get that picture. What do you think about tail docking? yes or no?