Saturday 5 May 2001
Slaughter officials move in to kill widow's pet sheep
By Tara WomersleyA PROTESTER was arrested last night as Maff officials moved into a woman's home and slaughtered her five pet sheep.

Carolyn Hoffe, 46, a widow, who had moved the animals into her living room to protect them, had lost a court battle hours earlier to save them from the foot and mouth cull.

There was a brief stand-off between her stepfather, Douglas Allen, and three officials when they arrived at her home in Whithorn, Dumfires and Galloway. Protesters shouted slogans.

One man was led away by police as they attempted to clear the entrance. The Maff officials then moved in, followed by a team of six soldiers wearing blue protective clothing.

Mrs Hoffe tried to bar the group's way to the living room. At one stage her cries could be heard outside the cottage just before the slaughter of the Dutch Zwartbles sheep began.

After the court ruling, Mrs Hoffe said: "I have a good case but they are going to kill my animals anyway." Around 35 people, including well-wishers, photographers and reporters, found themselves confined to the area surrounding Mrs Hoffe's home after they were told that they would need a permit to leave.

They were warned that they would need to have their clothes, equipment and vehicles disinfected. Mrs Hoffe was told by Maff that her animals would be slaughtered more than a week ago because her home was within three kilometres of an infected farm.