....a man of great integrity, honour and honesty with an inbuilt respect for animals. During last years FMD crisis his innate skills were in great need, but as with others like him, his offer of help was initially ignored. This man was a Huntsman. It was only after a slaughter man was killed at Great Orton that this man and others like him were called in to help.

This man, like the others called up, wished to help the countryside. They were very unaware what to expect in the killing fields of Cumbria. In fact, what they saw here left an indelible mark on them for life. . He found it hard to put into words simply saying, "It has changed my life."

For this man, what he witnessed here in Cumbria has left him traumatised. He told of teams of sheepdogs, Border Collies, coming from a dirty farm to gather sheep for slaughter. After gathering, they were told that it was the wrong farm. They had to kill all the stock anyway (they and the dogs were designated dirty) even though the sheep and cattle were healthy. They then went on to the "correct farm" and killed them out as well. All in a day's work.

He told me of how numbers were controlled during the four weeks leading up to Blair's election, the infamous June 7th. Remember how Professor King stated that FMD would skid to a halt by this date? It didn't and many, many more thousands of animals were killed after this date. In fact, the killing accelerated after the election.

Once again, imagine you were helping to kill literally thousands of healthy lambs daily. Little lambs, petrified and calling out in desperation for their mothers, who had probably already fallen to the captive bolt gun and pithing rod. Sadly, these lambs would not be allowed this easy route. ... lambs are hard to kill. They have very soft skulls and the captive bolt gun, used under the orders of the veterinary surgeons, do not kill the lambs. It simply compresses, viciously, their skulls and tears apart their lower jaw. They do not die, they are still very much alive and are thrown down to join the ever growing pile of wriggling, suffering and terribly frightened little animals. They then had to be pithed to kill them and in some cases were also "vented" (had throats cut).

Imagine holding a day old lamb. Imagine a Spanish TVI, barely able to talk English. Imagine this vet attempting to administer a needle into the heart of this little creature. The lambs were never sedated. Imagine having to hold this little thing whilst our vet has five attempts at killing this lamb. Imagine seeing 4 broken needles sticking from the chest of this animal.

" Lots of the boys have not got over it," he said.

(This is a shortened version of a longer article by Nick Green. Read it in full on the Inbox page)