Oct 1 206 ~ "Government bureaucracy has sentenced Harriet to death. There is no way that she will ever be a danger to human health. She is a much loved pet and no one has any plans to eat her
Mark Harper MP, Member of Parliament for Forest of Dean and Shadow Minister for Defence has, as he says on his own website, written to the "animal welfare" minister, Ben Bradshaw, about a pet Jersey cow not destined for the food chain, condemned under the Minister's interpretation of BSE control laws.
(Mark Harper's website)"..... The Government claim that she once (seven years ago) shared feed with a cow that later contracted BSE, though Harriet's owners and vet dispute this claim. Under the Minister's interpretation of BSE control laws, he insists that Harriet must die, although she is a pet cow and her owners have no intention of letting her enter the food chain.
Commenting on the plans to kill her, Mark Harper said:
"Government bureaucracy has sentenced Harriet to death. There is no way that she will ever be a danger to human health. She is a much loved pet and no one has any plans to eat her. Killing her is a needless act that will achieve nothing. DEFRA claim that they need to value her, but money cannot compensate for the affectation felt for her."
It is claimed that "under the DEFRA and EU laws Harriet must also be killed as part of the cohort" but it would seem that this is only DEFRA's law. EU Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 specifies the measures that must be taken when an animal is suspected of being affected by BSE or scrapie, but, as the Countess of Mar pointed out in her criticism of the UK regulations last March,
"EU Regulation 999/2001 clearly states that the rules apply only to animals which will enter the food chain. They do not apply to show animals, special collections of animals or anything to do with cosmetic or medical work, provided they do not enter the food chain. I am confident that this is not made clear in the statutory instrument. "Since the sole point of the regulations to be used as justification for killing the Jersey cow is "providing protection for consumers and ensuring that potentially infected material is not recycled " one wonders how the killing of a much loved pet can make consumers feel happier.
The State Veterinary Service is due to visit ( 2 Beaufort Villas, Holts Road , Newent) and mark Harriet for culling on 9th October at 3.30pm.
Press and supporters of Harriet are welcome..
In his letter to the MinisterMark Harper wrote
Dear MinisterSee news page on Mr Harper's website
I am writing once more to ask that you intervene to spare the life of Harriet, the pet Jersey cow belonging to Mr Price of 2 Beaufort Villas. Your representative from the State Veterinary Service is due to visit Harriet on 9th Oct to value her and mark her for culling.
Harriet is well loved locally and no one will permit here to enter the food chain. She poses no danger to public health. I cannot emphasise enough the opposition locally to this slaughter. I am concerned that there may well be a large number of people present when your representative arrives to object to this action.
As I have said before there is no way Harriet will enter the food chain. She is a much loved pet cow, as the protests will no doubt demonstrate, and no one will permit her to be eaten. Is it not possible to allow her to have a long life and, when the time comes, allow her to die peacefully and take the necessary measures then to ensure that she does not accidentally enter the food chain? I would repeat once more that I cannot see how this would happen.
I look forward to your urgent intervention in this matter before it is too late for Harriet.
Given the local concern, I am publishing this letter to the local media.