Back to Inbox ~ Home Page ~ Newspapers ~ "other news today"

Banana Republic

A couple of days ago I read a horrific report in a local newspaper, the News and Star. The headline read:-

"Police finished off animals left to die by slaughtermen"

The full report can be read on

Yesterday I rang Penrith Police to obtain a copy of the report. No one knew anything about it! I rang The News and Star and was told that Victoria Brenan, the journalist who had written the article, was invited to see the report by the local police but was not allowed to take it away.

Victoria was not there at the time but her colleague knew all the details and suggested I rang her the next day. Then I rang the Police again and was advised by Mr Mike Ash, publicity and communications, that he would investigate.

I also rang Mr Houlahain, press officer at MAFF Carlisle. He knew nothing but would investigate.

Today I rang Victoria Brenan early in the morning. She confirmed she had been invited ro see the report by a local Policeman who had felt it was in the public's interest. He is well known for informing the public on crucial issues and feels that the Police should maintain a very open stance on certain facts. (It is a pity the Government do not conduct the same policy )

She told me that only 3 people had seen the report; the Assistant Chief Constable plus 2 others.

The report was as a result of an internal conference organised by The Chief Constable of Suffolk and was conducted, eerily, on September 11th 2001

The report was 'not for the public domain but an internal conference to share experiences and lessons learnt during the FMD crisis' Fair enough.

However, if it had not been for one Police Officer in Cumbria, we might never have seen this report. Have any of Blair's "fudged" enquiries bothered to interview the Police? Probably not! We have not seen any evidence given by the Police to any enquiry so far. Our Police in Cumbria were very aware of the sensitive position they were catapulted into. I know the same cannot be said of Police forces in the Dumfries & Galloway area!

Having received this information, I will now request our own County Council to ask the Police to forward evidence to our own Cumbrian FMD enquiry. I have spoken to local senior Police Officers and they have expressed harsh personal opinions about the general incompetence of MAFF!. I await with interest to see if they are "allowed" to report honestly and openly to our enquiry!

Surprisingly, Mr Houlahain, MAFF Carlisle, rang me this afternoon to discuss this Police report. He had been unable to obtain any information about Cumbrian Police's involvement in FMD and the newspaper report was too vague!

The report tells:-"How Cumbria Police Marksmen were called out on five occasions to shoot animals which had not been killed by slaughtermen and were left injured. Others escaped and had to be killed because they posed a danger to public safety Supt. Brian Horn, who led Cumbria police's £165,000 FMD operation, said he shared concern that some of the work carried out by slaughtermen was "innaproprate" There were also cases of movement being spotted in what was thought to be a pile of slaughtered sheep "

How much more specific do you need to be Mr Houlahain?

I am pursuing MAFF/DEFRA vigorously concerning these issues and can guarantee I will not stop until I obtain satisfactory answers.

I recall one evening last year when MAFF slaughtermen were trying to kill adult cattle with 22 rifles. This occurred in Engine Shed Lane, Nr. Skipton, Yorkshire. The vet on call was a Rubens Whitaker. At least one of these cows roamed the night in agony with at least one 22 shell lodged in its shoulde. I called Skipton Police to the scene that evening. They came , observed and heroically retreated. I do hope that Yorkshire folk now demand to hear from their Police Force regarding their involvement during FMD 2001.
Welcome to The SS Banana Republic, formerly known as the United Kingdom
NICK GREEN Heart of Cumbria
"Campaigning for the Truth"