An angry villager is calling for a herd of cattle to be moved from a field near Market Harborough now after a cow died deep in mud.
Neil Gillingham, 32, is demanding urgent action as he warned the animals are being kept in “disgusting” conditions in the meadow in Clipston.
The human rights campaigner said many other people in the tight-knit village on the Leicestershire-Northamptonshire border are backing the move to secure much better treatment for the cows.
“The way that these animals are being kept at the moment and for far too long is disgusting.
“There is no other word for it,” insisted the company director.
“It is cowardly and it is wrong.
“We all have a duty to fight to get these poor beasts moved and properly looked after for the first time in their miserable lives.”
Neil spoke to the Harborough Mail and gave us this powerful video he shot of the cows almost up to their bellies in thick mud in their waterlogged pasture.
He’s acted after we broke the heart-breaking story on Wednesday March 9 of a distressed cow left to die in the field on the Clipston to Sibbertoft road.
“I went along to see that cow along with a lot of other villagers here and it was horrific to see.
“A lot of us told the farmer exactly what we thought of him and the way he treats his herd,” said Neil, who runs a business dealing in international talent.
“It’s absolutely shocking and cruel.
“It was a mercy when the poor cow was shot and put out of her misery after a vet, the RSPCA and the government department were called out to the scene.
“She’d suffered far too long in that horrible muddy field.
“You wouldn’t abuse your cat or dog like this – so why would you an innocent cow?
“I’ll be speaking to my local MP Chris Heaton-Harris about this because it’s scandalous, it’s appalling husbandry and it can’t be allowed to continue.
“I eat meat, I’ve hunted in the past and I’m certainly no vegan activist,” said the dad-of-one.
“But I am a strong advocate of human rights for people and animal rights for pets, farming livestock and wildlife.
“We all have to get up and make a stand because this is brutal and very upsetting.
“The video that I took of the cows and their terrible plight has already had well over 500,000 views on TikTok and my various other social media platforms from outraged people all over the world,” said Neil.
“You can imagine the sort of comments I’ve had slamming this.
“Unfortunately, this scandal reflects very badly on Clipston.
“We have got a fantastic village community here and a lot of people feel exactly the same way that I do.
“We all want this to be sorted out now once and for all.
“So it’s high time the proper authorities got their finger out and took decisive action to remove the cows and punish the local farmer who has them.”
Neil spoke out after a villager told the Mail he alerted animal welfare chiefs about the dying cow 10 days before they acted.
He tipped off the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on Friday February 25 that the whole herd was “emaciated and uncared for”.
And he spoke to an APHA officer for over 40 minutes on Monday February 28 as he spelled out the cows’ ordeal.
But it wasn’t until Monday March 7 that agency staff backed up by an RSPCA officer and an independent vet finally went out to check out the beasts.
“I cannot believe it took the Animal and Plant Health Agency 10 days to go out and see to this poor cow.
“I did what I could to help this very unfortunate cow and the rest of the starving herd.
“But I can’t force the Government department supposed to be looking after farm livestock and maintaining proper standards of welfare to actually go out and do their job,” said the villager.
“I decided to get in touch with you after reading your story.
“I contacted the Animal and Plant Health Agency at 8.56pm on Friday February 25.
“I was out walking with my girlfriend and we spotted these wretched cows in this pathetic excuse for a field.
“It was so muddy that the cow in the pictures couldn’t move, she was totally stuck.
“It was heart-breaking to see,” he said.
“I can’t abide wilful neglect or animal cruelty of any type.
“So I reported what we’d seen and told them where this herd was.
“I got a reply from someone in APHA’s customer service team at 9.09am on Monday February 28.
“She asked me for details about if the beasts had access to food/water/shelter and a dry lying area, etc.
“So I rang them straight up and spoke to an officer there for over 46 minutes.
“They promised to investigate.
“So to read in the Mail this cow was still lying there in the mud as her life ebbed away a week later has shocked me,” he said.
“No animal should have to endure this level of suffering and distress.
“The Animal and Plant Health Agency have got some serious questions to answer as well because their response has been appalling.”
An APHA spokeswoman refused to discuss the incident.
She simply said: “We take potential breaches of animal welfare legislation very seriously and APHA investigates all allegations.
“Where welfare regulations are breached, appropriate action is taken.”
The RSPCA also refused to comment.
Local MP Chris Heaton-Harris has been asked for a comment.