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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 07:13 GMT 08:13 UK
Book relives foot-and-mouth fight
Moira Linaker
Moira Linaker defied orders to cull her sheep
The story of one of Cumbria's fiercest battles to survive the foot-and-mouth crisis has been turned into a book.

Nurse-turned sheep breeder Moira Linaker, became known as the Rotweiller, after taking on the government to save her Ryeland flock.

After she blockaded herself into her smallholding near Carlisle, the Prince of Wales agreed to take some of the threatened animals.

Now her story is retold in a book called Behind Chained Gates.

For six months during the 2001 crisis, 62-year-old Ms Linaker defied government orders to cull her flock of rare sheep.

Now, the mother-of four relives her "six months of hell" in a written account of her battle.

Her courage touched the Royal Family, when Prince Charles agreed to take some of the animals to his Highgrove estate.

'Dreadful time'

Her book tells the story of how she established her smallholding after giving up a career in nursing.

It also recalls how, in March 2001, she barricaded herself and her sheep behind gates in an effort to keep government vets from slaughtering animals.

Ms Linaker recalled: "I appealed against the cull and would not allow government vets to test my sheep.

"It was a dreadful time and it all dragged on for months."

She has now moved from her smallholding, but remains defiant. She said: "I'll never apologise for what I did.

"Prince Charles was so supportive during the foot-and-mouth situation in Cumbria.

"I knew that he did not have Ryeland sheep on his farm and I thought it would be an honour to re-introduce them back into the Royal Family."

Foot-and-mouth vet 'not to blame'
16 Mar 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Appeals slow slaughter
09 Apr 01  |  Programme highlights
Rare breeds 'could be lost'
21 Mar 01  |  UK News

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