NO DOUBT, many of us recently followed the fate of Marcus the lamb, who had been hand-reared by primary school children in Kent, so that they could be ‘educated in all aspects of farming and everything that implies’.

However, this primary school project gave children a false image of farming, as animals on modern farms are not hand-reared or given the individual care that was bestowed upon Marcus. Instead, most of them are crowded into filthy factory farms where disease is rife. And if the aim was to educate children in all aspects of farming then the children should have been allowed to bear witness to his killing so that they could then make an informed decision as to whether they wanted to be part of such a cruel and unnecessary industry.

The only good that can come out of Marcus’ death is to remind people that all farmed animals, whether they are given a name or not, are individual, sentient beings who form bonds with one another and with humans, experience a wide range of emotions, feel pain and suffer. To find out how Marcus would have spent the last moments of his life, visit the Animal Aid website ( to view recently released undercover footage taken inside three randomly chosen British abattoirs.

KELLY SLADE, campaigns officer, Animal Aid