20 April 2001
Farmers claim cull cruelty

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

FARMERS have given the Welsh National Assembly what they claim is more evidence of cruel animal slaughter practices during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The evidence includes live sheep trampling over other livestock that have just been shot, and sheep having to be shot several times before they are killed.

It follows the televised screening of amateur video pictures of a white-suited gunman apparently taking pot shots at a flock of sheep.

Bob Parry, president of the Farmers Union of Wales, described the evidence as horrific examples of cruel slaughter practices.

“Distressed farmers who have witnessed these cruel actions are disgusted by what they have seen,” said Mr Parry.

“The majority of people involved have carried out this distressing task in an orderly and humane fashion, but evidence of bad practices should be reported.”

Other evidence contains details of wounded ewes and lambs having to be pulled from piles of carcasses to be finished off.

Television pictures of 40 in-calf heifers dying in muddy fields at Grosmont in Monmouthshire have also shocked Welsh viewers.

Farmer Barrie Lewis said tack lambs that could not be returned to their owner had taken all available grazing, and he had no money to buy feed for the cattle.

Three weeks after applying to slaughter the animals on welfare grounds, Mr Lewis said he had still not received a reply from the Intervention Board.

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