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We're grateful to Sue from the Remus Horse Sanctuary in Essex for sending this message about Janet Hughes' forthcoming book

Janet Hughes is about to publish her book - The Killing Pens. Janet describes her book thus:-

The book relates to a legal case taken in 2001 during Foot and Mouth Disease. It begins in August 2001 at the Royal Courts of Justice and then returns to February 2001 and the start of the foot and mouth trauma in the countryside of Powys.


As a person concerned with the environment and the treatment of animals, I became appalled at the actions of Government to eradicate the disease. Mass culls occurred in my locality and our countryside became a place of nightmares. Comments made by a senior official at the NFU in London in April 2001 caused me such concern that I began to research the various outbreaks in Powys, and began to discover that the majority of them had negative results. Hundreds of farms lost livestock in spite of these negative results and the killing continued in Wales through to August 2001.


The book tells the factual story of my journey towards the legal case and its aftermath. Information was forthcoming from many sources, including a slaughter man, who informed me of plans for culling on a mass scale.


The legal case related to the mass slaughter of sheep on the Brecon Beacons in South Powys. Large pens were constructed on the slopes of the mountains in July 2001 supposedly to test the sheep. The farmers were informed that they would be able to shear and dose their sheep, whilst in the pens. However, the pens were the ‘killing pens’; not one sheep came out of the pens alive. 20,000 healthy sheep were cruelly killed between 27 July and 16 August in the Brecon Beacons and many more thousands of healthy sheep and cattle in the preceding months in Powys.


A farmer on the Brecon Beacons sold me ten sheep on 8 August and I applied for a judicial review on 13 August. On 16 August the judge ordered a hearing, which took place on 21 August 2001 in London. The book details the legal argument of that hearing, at which permission was refused. Several weeks after the hearing I discovered that the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had placed highly inaccurate information in a witness statement and I obtained documentation to prove this. The case went on to the Court of Appeal but again was refused in January 2002. In June 2002, I submitted the case to the European Court of Human Rights.


All was quiet until January 2003, when bailiffs arrived to list all my possessions, to the value of £17,000 to pay DEFRA’s court costs. The last part of the book tells the story of the fight against the writ, which turned out to have been issued improperly. The case finally came to an end on 22 August 2003, when DEFRA agreed to accept £4,000 of donated funds.






The truth about FMD and the mass culling has always been thwarted. My book contains evidence of not only ineptitude, but also of pre-meditation for the eradication of our small farms. It is the only means left to me to place this evidence in the public domain. The Government hid behind a wall of excuses, and escaped any accountability with the weak promise that lessons would be learned. It is my view that this is not acceptable behaviour of any democratically elected Government. Deception occurred in 2001 and this deception needs exposing.


To pre-order a book and therefore to help cover the cost of the publishing please email Janet at The book should be available from August and for pre-ordered books the cost will be £10 plus post and packaging.


I hope that you will try to support Janet's efforts in her attempts to document the FMD tragedy and the tragedy that it became.