‘We want answers over cattle slaughter’

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A COMMUNITY is calling for answers after a herd of cows was shot dead in front of people.

Chirk residents are demanding a public meeting with Wrexham Council and North Wales Police after the herd of more than 30 Friesian cows were slaughtered in a field next to Chirk Community Hospital and in full view of residents – including children.

Mother-of-six Tracy Sheil, of John Street, wants to know why neighbours were not told the shooting would take place.

She said: “I want a public meeting with all the authorities involved because we can’t get any answers.

“We are all very sad about what has happened, but people want to know why we weren’t made aware and why it was done in front of children.

“Even if people didn’t know, they could all hear the shooting. There was just no care for the public.”

Mrs Sheil’s home backs on to the field and her seven-year-old daughter Abbie was left distressed after she witnessed the shooting from her bedroom window.

She added: “I was made aware of it because a neighbour came round and told me. My little girl heard us talking about it and went to look out of her bedroom window.

“She loves animals and she was quite upset about it. Even my three-year-old daughter knows what has happened and she say’s there’s no mooing now.”

Mrs Sheil has now written to DEFRA to make a complaint and it has referred her letter to the Welsh Assembly Government’s department for rural affairs.

In response Robin Pierce, from the farm development division, said: “I've spoken to my colleagues in the animal welfare branch, who advise me that the Welsh
Assembly Government's advice was sought in this instance and it was agreed that if the veterinary surgeon on site believed the condition of the cattle was such that the best option was for them to be destroyed, then that was the action that should be taken.”

Animal rights activists have also slammed the actions of the authorities.

Judy Hewitt, founder of Wales Against Animal Cruelty, said: “Why couldn’t they have taken the animals away and done it in a barn individually instead of shooting them in front of each other.

“Animals have feelings too and it’s time people realised this. Animals deserve respect and to shoot them in front of each other is just cruel.”

Wrexham Council said the animals were killed on welfare grounds and to prevent any further suffering or distress.

See full story in the Leader

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