I would have prefered to have hung them longer - but nervous about hanging them longer in the shed.
The slaughterman turned out to be very competent and very pleasant - 'proper job'. I asked if he had been involved in the FMD killing. He said that he had worked on it.
He said that they had to kill 250 pedigree Limousins. He said it was 'criminal' and 'the people were so upset'. He was just shooting and pithing the cattle and the digger pushed them away - any one could do that. No skill involved.
He told the officials that he normally killed the animal dressed it, hung it and then cut it up for eating. When they had finished, the vets told him that the calves must be killed.
They took him to a barn where there were 'these 18 beautiful Limousin calves' - and he had to shoot them too. He told the vets that he wouldn't work for them again. He was almost inarticulate about the people 'who made big money out of the killing', he was so full of contempt. He said - 'I would spit on them.' He thought that the government wants to drive farmers like us out of business.
Coupled with Pat Innocent's e-mail and her FMD file - posted on warmwell today- and Didi Philips' e-mails, this brought back our feelings from last year. I remember weeping over my ewes that were about to lamb - under the shadow of a seemingly inescapable doom. The helpless feeling of isolation and threat. The smell of burning animals. Now I understand so much more about what was happening, I can hardly contain my rage. Any representative of Government dealing with us now has to overcome our first presumption that they are malign and incompetent. If we have to co-operate, our co-operation is mistrustful, grudging and limited.