Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Young Farmers reported for alleged animal cruelty

Release date: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A GROUP of young farmers from Alberbury near Shrewsbury are being accused of glamourising potential animal abuse after filming themselves swinging sheep by their legs for a farming 'talent' competition.

Alberbury Young Farmers have been reported to the local Animal Health Office after their entry into the Farmer's Guardian 'Tractor Factor' was seen by national animal campaigning group, Viva!.

The film features seven members of the group, performing a parody of the pop song 'Dizzy'. After around a minute, a young farmer takes a sheep and swings her around forcibly by her fore legs. (Pictured to the left in screen grab).

Viva! campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, says: “Although we understand that the video is meant as a bit of fun, there is no excuse for using animals as props.

“The way that one sheep is grabbed and swung around by her fore legs is especially disturbing. It must have been a terrifying and potentially painful ordeal for her and goes way beyond simply having a lark.

“It begs the question of how do they treat animals when the camera is turned off' If this is the best that the young farmers have to offer I'd hate to see the worst.
Viva! have also complained to Farmer's Guardian, who are due to announce a shortlist of entries on May 13, when viewers can vote for their favourite entry.

Concerns have also been raised by members of farming community who have visited the competition website.

“pete | 23 March 2011 8:23 pm
i agree dizzy is a good fun video ,though i am concerned about the way they treated the one lamb swinging it by its legs ,it doesnt paint a good picture of how farmers and there staff treat sheep or any other animal in there care

Viva! are calling on the Animal Health Office to take appropriate action against the group and for the entry to be excluded from the competition.

ENDS

For more information about this media release, please contact press officer Helen Rossiter on 0117 970 4637 or helen@viva.org.uk or Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or justin@viva.org.uk.