Report by Nick Green 10th April 2002

The phone clicked, quite distinctly, it was always the same. Sue said "Did you hear that?". "Yes, it's tapped." I said very matter of fact. "You as well, we weren't for a while but it's started again." "No worries Sue, I don 't give a f**k, I hope they are listening, then they will know we mean business!

Many of us have had our phones tapped for months now. Can you imagine? A paranoid government ordering normal English people to be monitored by our intelligence services! They must be desperate, stupid or a mixture of both! So much for living in a democracy!

Sue went on to tell me the most horrific, nasty and cruel tale imaginable! Victor the Vet sank to new depths! A fully paid up member of the Bent Vets Association and apparently a very welcome member!

It was late March 2001. Cumbria was gripped in crisis. The government policy was a shambles; pyres burnt everywhere spreading the rotten stench around the beautiful plains and valleys of North and East Cumbria. Dead animals littered our fields. The lower Eden valley held her breath. The plague crept closer each day; we reckoned about 5 kilometres in 24 hours. We were still clean but scared we would awake one morning to the sounds of the Angels of Death! Heads were held low; people spoke in a whisper as if we imagined that being more overt might accelerate the inevitable!

We waited, surrounded in an eerie stillness. The massacre of the northern plains of Cumbria was now in full swing. Infected Premise Number 953, Carlisle, 3rd April 2001. The disease was noted on this farm during the evening of 2nd April 2001. The owners phoned the MAFF FMD line at 19:15 hrs. They, like everyone, had been told that speed was of the essence. But the only sound running along Alexander Bells lines was the Answer machine! "We are not open at the moment, normal office hours are 9am till.....!!!!! Yes, yes but we have FMD! "Please call during normal working hours". So they did, first thing in the morning. What then happened will never leave the memories of this family.

The first to arrive was Victor the vet. Around 10:00hrs! A leisurely start for Victor; probably banking part of the #70,000 a year he was now earning! Anyway, Victor eventually turned up muttering lots of nice things like, "You farmers want FMD anyway." And "You only want the compensation." Nice one Victor, good bed side manners! Soon the valuation of the herd was under way. Around 85 milkers and some young stock. Victor became increasingly callous in his approach. A crude and very rude little man with absolutely no consideration for this family or their animals.

Soon he had a young cow that was showing signs of FMD isolated. Only a very thin metal gate separated this animal from the remainder of the herd. He wanted the animal killed straight away, as "It was breathing virus." The slaughter team had not arrived yet. Victor had his little toy with him. A very small calibre pistol. Probably a Xmas present from Santa! Victor placed this weapon between the eyes of this terrified animal and pulled the trigger. Victor, this is an adult cow! A large animal, what the hell are you doing? Well Victor obviously didn`t know! The cow still stood there! Eyes glazed, heavily traumatised and in deep shock! She was bleeding profusely! She was still very much alive!

Victor sauntered down the farm track to his vehicle. He moved slowly, showing little emotion! The cow was in agony. Victor pulled out a shotgun and meandered back. No rush Victor, why should you care! As he neared the shed and the heavily wounded cow he blasted at the animal at close range! She shook involuntarily on the floor taking a little longer to be relieved, at last, from this unbelievable hellhole!

The owners looked on, unable to speak. In the shed, mass panic enveloped the 85 milkers! In fact they were so distressed they began to abort their calves!

By midday, the slaughter team arrived to dispatch the remaining condemned stock. These men worked efficiently. The owners knew some members of the team. It was more than five days before the stock was removed from the farm! They were lucky; I know of farms that waited nine days or more!

The owners of the stock reported the incident to the Army personnel who were responsible for some of the administration. Nothing ever happened. Our owners were never consulted about this incident. They never heard a thing!

Sue told me that the name of the Vet involved in this horrific action was a Mr CLIVE MEDIROS from OXFORD. He specialises in Ostriches!