Chaos ensued during the culling of the third case of foot and mouth on 15 September. According to news sources the cull at a farm in Pyrford went wrong when cattle were corralled together and shot at random. A number of cows escaped, scared by the shooting, and ran through a water course and onto a nearby golf course.
The golf course was closed for five hours whilst trained marksmen from Surrey Constabulary, who were working alongside animal health officers and vets, retrieved the cows from the golf course to continue the culling.
Some 1,800 animals have been culled since the initial foot and mouth case in August. Most animals were killed as humanely as possible under the circumstances but this episode gives more reason for vaccination to be used by Defra as an emergency response.
A further letter from Hilary Benn to Compassion in World Farming on 20 September confirms that Defra is still prepared to consider vaccination should the disease spread further beyond the current surveillance zone.
Compassion in World Farming will be asking for an inquiry into the incident at Pyrford and continue to push the government to use vaccination as an emergency response.
We must not allow EU trade to come before animal welfare. We should not forget that we are dealing with hundreds and thousands of sentient beings, animals that feel pain and can suffer.
CIWF believe that farm animals should not, and need not, suffer. If you agree, please support our work with a donation today.