No Porkies. The Quantity of Mercy is under Strain
“I’m a slaughterman, not a killer, and I am not into killing animals that don’t need killing. These lambs are healthy, they’re living, they’re happy, why do we need to kill them?” David Wright, owner of a slaughterhouse in Boston, Lincs, was defining trading standards and DEFRA officials refusing his plea for mercy after Dolly a ewe bought at Newark Market in Notts, gave birth to two lambs at his abattoir. Legislation introduced as a result of the foot-and-mouth epidemic requiring killing of animals within 48 hours of entering a slaughterhouse was denying the animals relief.
Mr Wright protested. “They said it is up to me to do it, but I’m not willing to do it. My son is not willing to do it and none of my staff are willing to do it”, proclaimed “a slaughterman with a compassionate side” (The Times, 27 April 2005, wishing to spare the trio from the chop (the twins have become known as Mint and Sauce, and their mother as Dolly).
DEFRA, understanding the distress of everyone, “ faced with this difficult situation” and sympathizing with Mr Wright and his staff, at first remonstrated that “everyone associated with the livestock industry complies with animal movement rules to prevent any risk of spreading infection”, relented within a day and reprieved Dolly and the newborn twins.
So they at least gain respite and achieve legal asylum in the spirit of other refugees, Butch and Sundance, the Tamworth Two, acquired notoriety in 1998 when they escaped from a Wiltshire slaughterhouse and went on the run. They eluded many hunts, but had the good fortune that the RSPCA was best in this field sport and took the refugees into a sanctuary in Kent, where they have survived and even escaped fate at components of Freedom Foods.
In 2001, during the FMD epidemic, Phoenix, a Charolais heifer calf, was missed alive after 2 culls during the alert. She was found weak under the body of her mother 5 days after the pair, along with 15 other cattle, were given a supposedly lethal injection at a farm in Axeminster, Devon.