£18,000 PER. WEEK....
Report by Nick Green 25th. April 2002
Despite the assertion that animal welfare was not compromised during FMD 2001, the statement by UK officialdom at the EU Inquiry was simply enveloped with deception and mistruths. The evidence of poor treatment of animals last year is simply overwhelming. Balanced with that comment however is the fact that there is equally no doubt that some slaughter teams conducted their tasks efficiently and in a kindly fashion. But, we all know that 86% of all stock was needlessly killed so this hardly allows us to feel less angry.
In this short report I would like to discuss some of the more simplistic reasons why animal welfare was so lamentably ignored.
The most obvious reason was that slaughter men were paid per animal killed. The rates paid by MAFF/DEFRA last year were:-
£5.00 per. Head for cattle.
£3.00 per. Head for sheep.
This does not seem much at first sight. However I will now take a somewhat closer look at these payments.
Let us consider Gt. Orton. The scene of the most horrific massacre known in this country and considered by DEFRA as A job well done. Anyone who has been there cannot help to be moved by the aura of the place. It is an unimaginable place, akin to being, I imagine, in hell. It is interesting to note that DEFRA are to convert this English Auswich into a nature reserve. There will be guided walks and of course the obligatory children's play area. This will not be visited by locals and I can only imagine the very unwary tourist falling for DEFRA`s brain washing brochure detailing the benefits of visiting Gt Orton. Hell on earth. The birds do not sing there, nor do they sing at Auswich.
At Gt Orton there were 4 pens containing sheep gathered for slaughter. 600 ewes an hour were slaughtered DEFRA proudly state.
This means 150 sheep an hour per pen. One slaughter man killed in each pen.
Therefore a slaughter man could earn: -
150 X £3 = £450.00 per hour.
A 4 hour morning shift would therefore bring each man:-
£1,800.00. or £3,600.00 per 8 hr. shift.
£18,000 per 5 day week.
Am I naïve or is it just possible that the undeniable attraction of earning £18,000 per week may just have contributed to the appalling welfare standards witnessed throughout FMD 2001.
As stated at the GT Orton trial where a man was on trial for killing a fellow slaughter man with a CBI:-
Poorly organised. Loaded weapons left lying around. There was a shortage of vets on site to oversee the killing.
Sheep burying themselves under dead animals in a futile attempt to avoid the slaughter mans gun.
Some workers only lasted a day, it was so horrific.
But those who stayed for the full period would have been able to buy very nice dwelling, cash.