Champion bull to be slaughtered
14 September 2004 - BBC NewsA
prize-bull from Cornwall is to be put down on Wednesday because of
bovine TB. The bull's owner, Fred Hawke, from Hustyns Farm, Burlawn, near
Wadebridge says he has been offered compensation of between £20,000
and £30,000. Swampy was the champion Hereford bull of the Royal Cornwall Show
four years ago for two consecutive years.
Although his test was inconclusive, government vets say the bull
has to be slaughtered - the 16th member of the Hawke herd to be
killed in two months.
Mr Hawke says the decision to slaughter the bull has hit the
He said: "It's horrendous. I can't believe it's happened.
Tomorrow when I come to load it, that's when it'll really hit
Figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs (Defra) last month showed more outbreaks in Devon and
Cornwall than anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales.
It has provoked more criticism of the latest government policy on
Mr Hawke believes badgers could be responsible for the outbreak
in his herd.
He said: "We're surrounded by badgers here. We're living with
We've got outbreaks all around us, but nobody seems to worry
about it at all. It's costing the country a fortune." Because of Swampy's champion status, the Hawke family will
receive up to £30,000.
Melanie Hall, from the National Farmers' Union, says it is a
distressing situation for hundreds of farmers across the region who
are dealing with the disease on a daily basis.
She says the unusually high compensation being offered to Mr
Hawke is to recognise all the years of breeding for a pedigree
Ms Hall said: "This isn't an everyday occurrence. A lot of the
livestock in the West Country is of a commercial nature.
The compensation is normally made on market value and doesn't
take into account the loss of breeding, the work involved and the
replacement of the animals."
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