Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 15:40 UK

School row lamb sent to slaughter

Marcus the sheep
The children have fed Marcus the sheep by hand

A school lamb that was hand-reared for meat by Kent pupils learning about the food chain has been slaughtered despite a national row over his fate.

Lydd Primary decided to send neutered male Marcus to slaughter earlier than planned, Kent County Council said.

TV host Paul O'Grady offered to buy him and a pupil's mother objected to his killing but head teacher Andrea Charman said the move had overwhelming support.

Animal welfare campaigners want the school to end its slaughter programme.

In a statement issued following Marcus's slaughter over the weekend, Ms Charman said: "The decision to send the Wether lamb for meat, which has the support of the school council and staff, the governing body and the majority of parents, has now been carried out.

It is now the perfect chance to introduce humanity, compassion, respect and understanding to the school instead of betrayal
Peta

"When we started the farm in spring 2009, the aim was to educate the children in all aspects of farming life and everything that implies.

"The children have had a range of opportunities to discuss this issue, both in terms of the food cycle and the ethical aspect.

"There is overwhelming support for the school, locally and further afield.

"It is important for everyone to move on from this issue, so the children can focus on their education."

Parent Tina Goodyer: ''Some children have been highly traumatised''

Marcus had been due to be slaughtered on Monday.

Ms Charman started the farm, which also has rabbits, guinea pigs, cockerels and ducks, after she joined the school in January.

Last term, the school council - made up of 14 seven to 11-year-olds - voted 13 to one in favour of sending Marcus to slaughter rather than keeping him.

The school now plans to buy pigs to use them to make sausages.

The animal protection charity, Peta, said it had contacted Ms Charman asking for the slaughter programme to be shut down.

A letter to Ms Charman, sent before news of Marcus' slaughter was released, said: "We urge you once again to spare Marcus' life - teaching the children how animals feel love, joy, fear and pain, just like us.

"We also ask that you shut this programme down.

"The children have got to know and love Marcus and it is now the perfect chance to introduce humanity, compassion, respect and understanding to the school instead of betrayal."

Advertisement

Head teacher Andrea Charman explaining last week the purpose of the school farm and the children's involvement



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Star's bid to buy school's sheep
11 Sep 09 |  Kent
Row over plan to kill school lamb
11 Sep 09 |  Animals
Anger over school sheep slaughter
10 Sep 09 |  Kent

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific