What on earth is going on… this is a really shocking story from BBC Wales.
Click here to read about the slaughter of horned cows.
It is also reported here in the Daily Mail
We are not in a position to comment much except we are very shocked.
However, I should point out many farmers work with horned cattle safely on a daily basis and shooting loose cattle is very, very dangerous as the likelihood of stray bullets and an unclean kill requiring several shots and much suffering from the animal as well as the onlookers is incredibly high.
Only once or twice in a long lifetime of livestock farming have I seen a loose animal shot out of total necessity because it was maddened and very distressed. And this was only after we had tried sedation and the vet first. It is totally different from destroying an animal which is contained and I feel it is a very irresponsible action to take.
One wonders what the risk assessment for this terrible action was?
Whatever the real problem was, and they may be more to it, we are all completely outraged and this was not the way to solve it.
Living in the farming bubble, at busy times like right now, as we prepare for our annual open day, often means the world’s affairs pass one by.
I am therefore truly horrified to suddenly discover that Japan is the midst of a deepening foot and mouth crisis with the total numbers of animals slaughtered and to be slaughtered rising almost hourly. Instantly, I feel sick and very sorry for everyone involved as we in the British farming industry lived through all this in 2001 and again in 2007. It was a very close call in 2001 and it still makes us shake to remember the terror and the stress.
I send my good wishes to the farmers and pray for common sense to those in charge. Modern technology has given us accurate test kits and modern veterinary medicine has created vaccine. They need to test accurately, ring-fence with vaccine and only kill where they have too. Indiscriminate slaughter, as we found out in 2001, does no one any good least of all farmers and their animals. Rare breeds and specialised genetics are all under threat, and this wholesale killing policy is not necessary. We would fight tooth and nail to protect our rare breeds.. I just hope we don’t ever have to.
Good information can be found here. Mary at Warmwell does a brilliant job keeping us all informed I just haven’t had time to read it for ages.
I send my support to the Japanese farmers and livestock keepers, it is tragic and we shall have to await the outcome and assess the long-term consequences on their livestock industry. There will, I am sure, be lessons for all of us from this sorry saga.