The sorry story of vets examining herds and flocks of animals and when finding them free from disease signing the Form A declaring the farm to be an infected place, will forever be a blot on the reputation of MAFF. Vets were told by senior members of our profession that if they did not sign a Form A, then the livestock would be killed and the farmer would receive no compensation. Farmers were told that if they did not co-operate in the slaughter of their sheep then their cattle would be taken as well. Doors were broken down by police to tear away pet goats from young girls. A retired vet in Dumfries who lived in the wrong place had his goats killed although there was a large housing estate between him and the infected farm. He had been involved with the '67 outbreak, knew the disease and volunteered to keep his animals under close observation. The animals were killed. The widow of a veterinary surgeon had the door to her house broken down by the police so that her five pet sheep could be killed.
It was a pity that they broke down the wrong door.
The animals were killed.
The Animal Sanctuary at Mossburn had upset people by refusing to have their animals killed. However, after court action it was finally decided that they had to go and so SERAD agreed with the owner's practitioner that he could put her animals to sleep at 10:00 am on the Saturday morning. At 6:00 am the police arrived in force and blockaded the road to keep away the protesters. Ross Finnie the Minister of Rural Affairs in Scotland, like Tony Blair, when confronted with Phoenix, decided that, with an election coming, there was just too much bad publicity and the policy was changed.
These horror stories refer only to Dumfries; they have been repeated in Cumbria, and in Devon, and probably other areas as well. One wonders if MAFF has any idea of the meaning of decency, compassion or even justice.