A smashed motorway fence line, built to prevent 500 head of stock from reaching the traffic lanes, has been left unrepaired by a local council for over a week.
The fence ran alongside the M40 motorway in Warwickshire between junction 13 and 14 on Brian Smith’s livestock farm. On Wednesday 4 June an accident ripped up 30m, leaving a gaping hole into 27 acres of land stocked with 500 sheep, lambs, cows, calves and a bull.
“To start with, nobody even contacted us to say that the fence had been broken. The field was open to the traffic for three hours with animals running all over the place before we were even alerted,” Mr Smith told Farmers Weekly.
“We were then informed that we couldn’t do any repairs ourselves. That was down to a contractor. So we penned the stock – all 500 animals – in a field away from the road.
“The pressure on the land is huge. Anyone that knows how sheep are when they are feeding lambs knows that. It’s like holding back a tide, sooner or later something is going to get through.”
Mr Smith added: “All that has happened is a policeman has put some blue-and-white tape up across the hole. That is a pathetic response to a situation where lives are being put at risk. It could be carnage if the stock break out.”