I hate rats, I just can’t stand them. I’m sure that the only reason for this is I’m almost completely certain that they will out live the human race and run all over our dead bodies with their little beady eyes and sharp teeth, but since Tuesday I now have to give the prize for the most evil and cruel species to the human race. They’re just horrible.
I know that not everyone agrees with free roaming animals like our sheep, but free roaming sheep, and cows, and horses, and pigs and poultry, are part of this area’s heritage. They’re something that makes the area stand out and not just be a nice area of the out skirts of Gloucester.
Our sheep are one of the handful of remaining free roaming flocks in the area, and we don’t really have a large flock but we still get the problems with people who have moved into the area who don’t want to close the gate to their drive, or fence their garden, or keep their dog that chases sheep on a lead (or teach their dog that chasing sheep isn’t allowed.)
We have a field in the village that the sheep have been being put in at night and let out in the morning, some times the sheep spend the day in the woods or on the greens or some times they just spend the day in the field.
On Tuesday the sheep were in the field in the afternoon, when they all arrived back at the house very suddenly for some reason, I was at work but mother sent my middle-sister out to check. She went up to our field and found our Cotswold ewe in the middle of lambing with a dead lamb that had been shot through the back of its head.
People make me sick, that lamb had only just been born it hadn’t even had a chance walk out of the ‘safety’ of OUR field to course any body any trouble. Even if you don’t agree with free roaming animals it really has nothing to do with the animal itself where it lives, all our sheep are very happy and mostly health living a free roaming life, but they didn’t choose that life for themselves, we did. Just like people who choose to keep sheep in fields chose that life for that sheep.
The police have been completely useless and a complete waste of time. When mother first phoned them she was told of as ‘it wasn’t an emergency’, someone wandering around the countryside with a gun shooting things isn’t an emergency?!?! For all my mother and sister knew this person was still around, possibly about to shoot at them or any of our other sheep. But no, that is not an emergency so the local rate number should have been called.
My mother called the local rate number and was put through to a local officer who said that he would come out to take statements later but would phone the RSPCA and bring them with him, my mother told the officer that actually the RSPCA is a charity who have no ‘special’ powers and that he should be calling the local trading standards where the local animal health team are based. The officer told her that SHE wasn’t going to tell HIM how to run the investigation.
We still haven’t had a visit from an officer and have only had a CPO call us as we contacted the local press about it.
I remember reading a thread on the River Cottage Forum last year where the same sort of thing happened and the police weren’t very helpful then as no-one had seen who’d done it so they couldn’t do anything.
Mother phoned the trading standards officer attached to animal health and he came out, took photos of the ‘scene’ and took the lamb away but is now on a training course so we don’t really know what’s going on or if anything is going to happen.
It is all complete pants!