Farmer takes government to court
of animals were cremated at the farm
A West Midlands farmer is taking the
government to court over claims it
breached its own regulations on the
disposal of carcasses during the foot
and mouth epidemic.
property, Sparum Farm in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was
chosen as a site
to incinerate 5,000 cattle and 6,000 sheep which had been
Mr Feakins says the ashes from the carcasses were only buried six inches
instead of the regulation three feet.
He also says that, without his
knowledge, an unknown number of cattle which
were burned or attempted to be
burned were born before August 1996 and
therefore potential carriers of the
disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
1988 concern was raised that BSE, the result of using recycling
protein in animal feed, could be linked to the fatal brain
Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) in humans.
A ban on the use
of meat and bone meal feed was brought in along with a
slaughter policy for
all affected cattle.
The link between BSE and CJD was firmly established
and the European Union
banned all exports of British beef.
government also announced tighter BSE controls and a 30-month
scheme was introduced in an effort to ensure that all cows over the
30 months at the time of slaughter did not enter the human food or
In a written submission
before the court, Mr Feakins says his land was left
blighted and his
He has since abandoned his property and moved his
family to a farm in
Scotland over fears they could pick up BSE.
successful, the action could force the government to treat the
site, which Mr Feakins estimates could cost more than
Mr Feakins is also seeking compensation for the loss of his