Report by NICK GREEN, CUMBRIA. 5th April 2002.


Exactly 20 years ago to the day, the British Task Force sailed from Portsmouth en route to The Falkland Islands. I was already on my way. 252 British servicemen died during the conflict with Argentina. Many more were horribly injured. These statistics are reasonably well known, but what is not well known is that a similar number to those killed during the conflict have since committed suicide suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the First World War this phenomenon was known initially as cowardice! Many British Tommies were shot suffering from what we now know as the mental disorder PTSD. Latterly the British troops were evacuated to Blighty and forced to endure corrective treatment that consisted of applying electrodes to the victims head in the vague hope of cleaning out his brain! Time has moved on of course and nowadays the great Ministry of Defence just ignore the sufferers of this terrible condition.


Any person, big - small, fit - unfit, male - female can suffer PTSD. The illness does not respect anyone, it can creep up with deafening rapidity to anyone who has suffered a traumatic experience. For example, for those that witnessed some very harrowing images during last years FMD crisis may well become victims of PTSD. This situation has been recognised here in Cumbria and we were told at a recent Rural Task Force Meeting that there might well be an explosion related to this disease!


Those that have not witnessed the things we have had to endure on the ground in Cumbria, may find it hard to understand how anyone could be affected in such a way. I have seen in the last year huge, proud honest men become gibbering, sobbing wrecks! They had been witness to some of the most horrific events you could imagine. Some will recover untainted; time can be a great healer. But, sadly many will not. The ravages of PTSD will encompass these unfortunate souls viciously and tear the very heart and soul from under them. The Health Services in Cumbria and elsewhere will be holding their breath awaiting the silent plague.


PTSD should never be underestimated, never! Imagine now, wherever you emanate from, whatever your background, the scene at Great Orton last year. Hundreds of thousands of healthy animals were killed here in a vicious killing spree over a period of some three months and sponsored by International coward and British Prime Minister Tony Blair!


Although impotent organisations such as The RSPCA and the Humane Slaughter Society attended well staged inspections, they were never to see what really went on at the old airfield at Great Orton. As I have documented in earlier reports, we all have a safety mechanism to protect ourselves from mental stress. It involves, in its simplest form, lying to ourselves. Blanking out anything we choose not to believe. A safety valve, sometimes very effective; but not for every one! For some, this simple process is unable to quell the tide of ghastly images forever impinging on the minds of their unfortunate targets.


One such person I spoke to very recently came from a very traditional rural background. His life was the countryside the countryside was his life. He was not a bunny - hugger by any stretch of the imagination. He was however a man of great integrity, honour and honesty with an inbuilt respect for animals. During last years FMD crisis his innate skills were in great need, but as with others like him, his offer of help was initially ignored. This man was a Huntsman. It was only after a slaughter man was killed at Great Orton that this man and others like him were called in to help.


This man, like the others called up, wished to help the countryside. They were very unaware what to expect in the killing fields of Cumbria. In fact, what they saw here left an indelible mark on them for life! I asked him what affect the period had had on him. He found it hared to put into words simply saying, It has changed my life!


For this man, what he witnessed here in Cumbria has left him traumatised. He told me of teams of sheepdogs, Border Collies, coming from a dirty farm to gather sheep for slaughter. After gathering, they were told that it was the wrong farm! They had to kill all the stock anyway (they and the dogs were designated dirty) even though the sheep and cattle were healthy! They then went on to the correct farm and killed them out as well! All in a days work!


He told me of how numbers were controlled during the four weeks lead up to Blairs election, the infamous June 7th! Remember how Professor King stated that FMD would skid to a halt by this date? It didnt and many, many more thousands of animals were killed after this date. In fact, the killing accelerated after the election!


Once again, imagine you were helping to kill literally thousands of healthy lambs daily. Little lambs, petrified and calling out in desperation for their mothers, who had probably already fallen to the captive bolt gum and pithing rod! Sadly, these lambs would not be allowed this easy route! You see, lambs are hard to kill. They have very soft skulls and the captive bolt gun, used under the orders of the veterinary surgeons, do not kill the lambs. It simply compresses, viciously, their skulls and tears apart their lower jaw! They do not die, they are still very much alive and are thrown down to join the ever growing pile of wriggling, suffering and terribly frightened little animals! They then had to be pithed to kill them and in some cases were also vented (had throats cut).


Imagine holding a day old lamb. Imagine a Spanish TVI, barely able to talk English. Imagine this vet attempting to administer a needle into the heart of this little creature! The lambs were never sedated! Imagine having to hold this little thing whilst our vet has five attempts at killing this lamb! Imagine seeing 4 broken needles sticking from the chest of this animal!


This actually happened here, at Great Orton last year! In a supposedly civilised society it is difficult to imagine anything like this happening! But it did, many thousands of times! Men like the Huntsman I spoke to did this job for over two months!  Lots of the boys have not got over it! he said.


Sadly they may never, without help!


Now, if you are good tomorrow, I will tell you how those nasty MAFF men ordered experiments to be carried out at Great Orton! No, no, I am not going to tell you now, its far too late! But, for now, just imagine The Chicken Stunner! A new untried, electronic method of attempting to kill young stock! It didnt work well! In fact many men who witnessed this experiment may never rest easy again!


Sleep well children!