Saturday, 12 April 2008

A week of extremes

This has been a strange week. The Olympic torch arriving in London showed the British do sometimes have the guts to protest - though as per usual, the French did it better. The weather went from unseasonably warm and sunny to 4 inches of snow - which melted by lunchtime. After months of not bothering due to impending scalp surgery, I finally took care of my hair and in less than an hour, went from too long and unkempt to short, soft and managable. I no longer have to keep it under control with a series of bands and clips. I feel a burden has been taken away.

But above all one thing has been troubling me.

Those of you who are UK based may recall that earlier this year, there was a major news story about police and RSPCA rescuing over 100 horses ponies and donkeys who were in the process of being starved to death on a farm near Amersham. The skeletal corpses of around thirty others were found on site. It emerged that the "farmer" was buying them cheap at auctions, then planning to ship them to the meat trade.

At a preliminary hearing into the cruelty case, the Judge decided that the ponies and donkeys were family pets, and could be returned to the family (in spite of evidence that they had been bought to be killed), and the remaining horses would be sold at auction to compensate the family for their financial loss.PLEASE have a look at this website that has been set up to help save the already rescued horses & Ponies form being sent to auction.

At auction these neglected animals will not go for any money and will most likely be bought for meat.

There is no excuse for this action, the RSPCA and the various horse refuges who were caring from them. In fact, they were handed over by the police for the express purpose of restoring them to health, rehabilitating them after the abuse and ensuring they were found a PERMANENT, CARING NEW HOME.

Please please write a letter and sign the petition when it is ready on the this site.



Amersham Horses - Help us protect them!

Please join us in asking Judge Kainth to overturn his decision to return 29 donkeys and ponies to James Gray and to send 82 rescued horses to a public auction.

Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth has ordered 29 donkeys and ponies be returned to Mr James Gray and his family. Oxford magistrates heard the family consider some of the donkeys and Shetland ponies to be pets.

Judge Kainth agreed to return the pets to the family but rejected their application to have the remaining 82 animals returned. These animals will instead be sold at auction in May in Warwickshire.

The RSPCA had argued that it should be allowed to oversee the re-homing of the animals in order to safeguard their future welfare.

But Judge Kainth said the donkeys and Shetland ponies had to be returned to the Grays, "as there is no evidence to show they are in any danger".

RSPCA inspector Kirsty Hampton said the decision to return the horses to the Grays was "devastating".


I know from my old job that there are many judges that live such cosy lives that they are too unworldly to understand and interpret laws involving abuse and violation of rights. It is up to us to campaign for the victims.

I find it shocking that the news media is giving so little space to this court decision. I have heard that they are people who are asking The Sun to launch a campaign to save ALL the animals - whatever you think of the paper, at least it knows how to make an impact.

Please pass this info on to anyone who may be interested.

Add to this the decision to go ahead with a cull of badgers to prevent bovine TB, in spite of scientific evidence that it will not work. Once again the NFU has shown that it only cares about penny pinching and big commercial farms. They have only recently had to defend themselves for blaming smallholders for the foot & mouth outbreak last Summer. No mention of vaccines and innoculation yet again.

When will they learn that in the long run a bullet is NOT cheaper than a needle?

Back to the main purpose of my blog.

The weather is still erratic, but Spring is rattling along apace.

The Wartime Weekend Gardener's task for this weekend include sowing French Beans. I've started some of mine, but my precious Cherokee Trail of Tears seeds will wait until the end of the month.

Sow a later cropping variety of Brussels Sprout. Nowadays most commercial seed catalogues only stock F1 varieties. As I only grow open pollinated (for reasons I really should explain sometime) I sow Bedford Fillbasket.

He also says this is the time to plant Second Early potatoes. I plant Kestrel, and when I can find them, the gorgeous Shetland Black. But as I was by my standards so far behind with the First Earlies, I'll wait a week or so.

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