The foot and mouth crisis is no excuse for the inhumane treatment of animals, stressed the RSPCA this week as it investigated reports that ill-equipped MAFF slaughterman bungled a cull at Barras Farm near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. The owner of the farm, Alan Alderson argued that the cull of his herd of 25 cows, one bull, 25 calves and one pregnant cow was mismanaged. They were slaughtered as a precaution after a MAFF lorry passed through a road in their field while carrying infected carcasses from a Stricegill farm.