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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Alton Towers cull 'breached trust'
Alton Towers
Alton Towers attracts millions of visitors
A former worker at the Alton Towers theme park may go to an industrial tribunal after the slaughter of animals due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Roy Ross resigned after his pregnant pedigree cow Daisy was killed as part of the cull of the park's animal in March.

He says the decision was taken without his permission and that he was forced to quit because the slaughter was such a complete breach of trust by his employers.

Mr Ross is considering taking the Staffordshire park to a tribunal to claim for park for loss of earnings and full compensation for Daisy.

Mr Ross was well aware of what we were doing

Alton Towers spokeswoman
But the park says it did have permission to kill the animals and the decision was taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

"This was a completely heartless decision so Alton Towers could open the theme park on time and not lose any money," said 50-year-old Mr Ross, who managed three rides at the park.

"At no time did I give my permission for the cull. Management didn't even seem to know these animals belonged to other people.

Children's display

"The decision caused a complete loss of trust with management.

"They took a decision which I completely disagreed with. How could I work for an organisation which had done that?"

The father-of-three from Meir, Staffordshire, loaned the Hereford cow to the park where it formed part of the Old McDonald's Farm display for young children.

Alton Towers
The park is accused of "breaching trust"
A total of 18 pets, including sheep and pigs, from the farm were destroyed after the park fell within an infected area.

The cow was five weeks from giving birth when it was killed and was worth up to 3,000.

The cull was condemned by the RSPCA which said other options of segregating animals should have been pursued.

"I want to prove to Alton Towers that just because they are a multi-million pound organisation they can't treat members of the public like this," Mr Ross said.

Park response

Mr Ross's solicitors are awaiting a response from Alton Towers before taking the case to a tribunal.

A park spokeswoman said: "The cull was the most responsible action we could've taken to prevent a spread of the disease.

"All other options were looked at but none were workable.

"Mr Ross was well aware of what we were doing.

"We handle all our employees in a responsible way which is what we've done with him," she said.

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