TB showdown at Eatons Farm
(picture) :Trading Standards senior
animal and welfare inspector Andy Williams (right) cautions Andy and Nicola
Morris after he is refused entry to their farm]
FURIOUS farmers Nicola and Andy Morris defied a
Government culling squad this morning and ordered officials off their land.
A heated row erupted when Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and trading standards officials came
to take cows off Eatons Farm, Church Lane, Tibberton, near Droitwich.
Government officials have ordered two cows from the
60-strong herd to be killed because a test shows they are harbouring the TB
But Mr and Mrs Morris claim the cows have shown no
sign of disease.
The Evening News was at the scene this morning as
Andy Williams, senior animal health and welfare inspector for Worcestershire
Trading Standards, told the couple: "You know why we are here. You have received
a proper notice about TB reactors on this farm. We are asking you today to
comply with this notice."
However, Mr Morris and his wife Nicola - who
famously resisted a Defra slaughter during the foot-and-mouth crisis - would not
budge. They were cautioned and told they would be reported to the police for
obstruction. The officials are now seeking a warrant for their arrest.
Mr Morris said: "We have been issued a B-form
saying there's an intention to slaughter our cows but we should have also been
issued an A-form telling us our rights.
"We feel we've never been treated fairly or told
our rights in this situation. We want to take this to court and have our case
"All we are asking is for the cows to be re-tested.
We don't believe they have TB and we don't believe the tests are accurate."
Mrs Morris claims the test that condemned the cows
is only 50 per cent accurate. Five other tests were inconclusive and the rest of
the herd tested negative.
She has protested against the decision to cull her
animals for 100 days - during which time none of them have shown signs of the
disease - proof, says Mrs Morris, they are in good health.
But Defra maintains the cows are infected and has
agreed to pay #5,000 compensation for them.
A spokesman said it was acting in the farmer's and
animals' best interests, adding: "We do not want animals becoming clinically
sick and suffering welfare problems.
"If these cows are kept on the farm with the rest
of the herd they present a huge risk of passing infection onto the rest of the
He said the TB test was around 90 per cent