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Not so Fantastic Mr Fox devours Truro school chickens

By West Briton  |  Posted: November 06, 2012

Ruan Sinnott, Noah Harpur and Lewis Staddon, in front of the chicken coop at Archbishop Benson, after the chickens were released and eaten by foxes

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CHILDREN were left heartbroken after they arrived at school to find an act of vandalism had led to the death of their much-loved chickens.

The pupils at Archbishop Benson school in Truro had been caring for the chickens in a specially built run sited next to the playing fields.

But vandals forced the lock on the surrounding fence and the animals were left defenceless against foxes that had been seen prowling the neighbourhood.

Tim Brown, science teacher at the school, said the young pupils arrived in school to find the gate to the run had been forced open and chicken feathers strewn across the fields and playground.

Mr Brown said: "It's the cruelty element that's upsetting – they would have had to fend for themselves.

"I think the children were very sad – they noticed something was wrong straight away because they could see the feathers. I was devastated when I came out here."

The chickens were kept at the school to educate children in animal welfare and to learn first-hand where food comes from.

The children also learnt about agricultural economy as they collected the eggs and sold them to members of staff.

One of the children, seven-year-old Ruan Sinnott, said: "I'm pretty sad our chickens have gone because they got us all the eggs. Everybody liked looking at them."

Classmate Lewis Staddon, 6, said: "They got eaten up by a fox. We saw tonnes of chicken feathers."

Noah Harper, 6, said he hoped the school would be getting some more chickens.

Mr Brown said that the school had increased security in the area and notified the police of the incident. He said the school would carry on keeping chickens in spite of the vandalism. "We won't let them beat us – we want to do it for the children," he said.

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  November 08 2012, 9:23AM

    twain1 wrote:- "I see your mates are out with their red arrows Paddy? Do they support animal cruelty too or are they just hypocrites that think cruelty only applies to animals they call pets?" Or perhaps, they are just normal people who realise that you really do not know what you are talking about, are incapable of following reasoned argument, and you believe that yours is the only opinion of worth. In short, they see you for what you are.

  • PaddyTrembath  |  November 07 2012, 9:58PM

    My Grandmother probably eat as much meat, if not more, than I do. The meat she eat, was probably of the "unhealthier" cuts, the fattier cuts, the offal, etc. In my Grandmother's day there was far greater use of animal products, in the form of Lard, in general cooking, Breads, Pastries, Stews, etc. Not everyone lived on gruel. You seem to be putting 2 arguments against meat forward, the additives, and the cruelty. Are you suggesting that you would eat meat if it were sourced from a wild animal that was shot in some idyllic woodland setting, completely unawares, having received no medication,or other human intervention during it's life? If not, then surely your argument should rest on the cruelty side of things, as the additives are of no concern to you, other than as an attempt at scaremongering. I really believe that you have no understanding of the terms/words you bandy about. A human being is not a Carnivore, NO human being is a Carnivore, not even one who only eats meat. Why? Because a human being is an Omnivore. An Omnivore eats "everything". http://tinyurl.com/jll87 A human being can choose to eat only certain things, they could choose to eat only vegetable material, and then they would be a Vegetarian, they can also choose to neither eat or use any animal material, in which case they would be a Vegan. Please note, a Vegan in a Woolen Jumper is a Hypocrite. I do not know of any human being that only eats animal material, but even if they did, they would still not be a Carnivore. The human body has evolved to be an Omnivore, it has evolved to eat both animal and vegetable material, it processes neither of these food sources as efficiently as those animals who have evolved to specialise in eating just the one source, as it has to cope with both. The human digestive system is a compromise, but it is a compromise that has served us well for millennia. Why are terms like Carnivore and Hens Period bs? I have explained about your misuse of the word carnivore above, and quite simply an egg is just an egg, it is not a "Hens Period", use of such terms are intended to put others off, but actually detract from your argument as they are clearly wrong. I actually do care about animal cruelty, and would much prefer to eat meat harvested from less intensively farmed and healthier sources. I also have no problem in killing my own food, I have done so in the past, and would not hesitate to do so again. To call me a "Supremacist" because I eat meat is rather insulting, especially as you clearly see no wrong in eating vegetables, plants are also living things worthy of respect and consideration. but you seem to consider yourself to be superior to them. Are they not grown in cramped conditions, sprayed with numerous chemicals, force fed other chemicals, treated as if they had no feelings whatsoever. Have you never heard a turnip scream when cut, shame on you!

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  • twain1  |  November 07 2012, 9:40PM

    I see your mates are out with their red arrows Paddy? Do they support animal cruelty too or are they just hypocrites that think cruelty only applies to animals they call pets?

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  • twain1  |  November 07 2012, 7:55PM

    Paddy, you are still talking rubbish. Your gran and everyone elses ate meat perhaps as little as once a week. That meat was not tainted with growth hormone etc and was grazed healthily. The majority of today's meat is factory farmed, fed antibiotics as a matter of course so they can survive the dire conditions, that alone threatens the viability of human protection. Today most people eat meat with every meal and places like Mc Murder, Kentucky cruelty drive the price down resulting in the vile concentration camps for animals and an unhealthy food from unhealthy animals. And no, your intestines have not evolved shorter like a carnivore's who can handle cholesterol and process rotting flesh through half the length of intestinal tract, probably the cause of colon cancer in humans, heart disease and diabetes in humans . Your teeth are blunt equipped with eye teeth for hard fruit like apple. It's pseudo carnivores like yourself that support the industry that uses 70% of antibiotic use, not for sickness but to keep animals in conditions where they would normally die, this threatens us all. ''Carnivores", Hens Period", "FBI Serial Killers"............total bs.'' Why is it bs? Facts Paddy, not waffle The fact is Paddy, that you know abuse is institutionalised and you don't care, you are a supremacist and as such you can have another person kill whatever animal that suits your choice, not for health but because you are too lazy to source a cruelty free diet. Today's diet is killing you all and big business has conned you into eating c**p. Evolve Paddy.

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  November 07 2012, 4:28PM

    animalperson, where to start? Firstly, Mankind is not the only animal that kills for fun. Other primates kill for reasons unconnected with food gathering. Chimpanzee "tribes" go to war with other "tribes" of chimpanzees. And your beloved Fox also, when given the chance, kills far more than required for food alone. It's a brutal world out there, and it's not all down to poor old mankind. As for Fox hunting, you assume far too much. I am neither for nor against it. I do not know enough about it to reach a considered opinion about it. It is your assumption that is "ignorant beyond belief!" I am sorry to hear about your Fathers family, BUT I feel the assumption you clearly make that it was down to them eating meat that was the cause of their misfortune to be jumping to a conclusion to fit your personal opinions. Seeing as it is a whole family that has suffered from heart disease, do you not think that there could be some sort of genetic reason for this? You are seemingly lucky that you have inherited your Mothers genes, and this affliction has passed you by, but I would strongly suggest that you get any children you have checked out regularly, as these things quite often reoccur in family lines. In my own family, a long line of meat eaters, the average age at death is well into the 90's. My Grandmother, who died at the age of 99, would prefer the fat from a joint of meat to the lean, and would clear her plate, wiping the plate clean of any remaining gravy or grease with a bit of bread. Perhaps she would have lived to be 150 or more if she had become a vegan? I have no problem with those who wish to improve our treatment of animals, but I do have a problem with the bs that some present as an argument for it. "Carnivores", Hens Period", "FBI Serial Killers"............total bs. My whole point is, whether you like it or not, that the human body has evolved to require a balanced diet of both meat and vegetable matter. If you wish to deny your evolution, then that's OK, it's your choice, but personally, I prefer to embrace it.

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  • animalperson  |  November 07 2012, 3:49PM

    FOXES DO NOT NEED TO BE COTROLLED!! They self regulate - the dominant vixen will bully the other vixens into submission until their week long heat period is over. They breed only once a year - unlike dogs and cats. When the dominant vixen is killed then there can be a free for all which is why there are more foxes in area's that are hunted. Plus where is the condemnation for those thugs that caused the hens to become vulnerable????? You can't tell me that vilifying foxes has nothing to do with the start of the hunting season - lets' get everyone hating foxes eh? - it is sick!!

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  • animalperson  |  November 07 2012, 3:40PM

    Actually paddy, my entire family on my fathers side have died from heart disease at a young age. I am fit and healthy thanks to my life long vegan diet. Eating meat which is full of bad fat and chemicals does lead to lots of horrible diseases but you carry on eating it - I promise you will regret it and you will remember my words!! The animals do get their revenge in a very subtle way in the end.

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  • animalperson  |  November 07 2012, 3:34PM


  • animalperson  |  November 07 2012, 3:32PM

    I don't have a problem with cariverous animals - just mankind because mankind is the only animal which kills for fun. PLUS, the FBI have looked into the background of serial killers and found that these sicko's started their evil fun on animals first. As for foxes - I am assuming that you are a supporter of fox/stag hunting - ignorant beyond belief! Foxes do not need to be controlled - they breed only once a year - out of an entire family of foxes only one vixen will mate with the dog fox - the other vixens are bullied into submission until their week long heat period is over. This ensures better survival for the dominant vixen's own cubs. And just for the record - I think that hunts in Devon and Cornwall are the most vile/evil in the country. I have my own theories why this is but would not be allowed to post them on this site!! You can check them out on walesagainstanimalcruelty.org.uk

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  November 07 2012, 11:04AM

    twain1, We are not equipped to be Herbivores either. We are equipped to be Omnivores. Our bodies have evolved to process both animal and vegetable food. Our teeth are perfectly formed to cope with such a mixed diet, as is our digestive system. If you choose not to eat meat, either because you don't like it, or because of your opinions regarding the ethics of it, then don't. I like meat, I eat it, I believe that it forms part of a balanced diet. I am fully wear of the unpleasant side of food production, a lot of which could be made more "Humane", but I somehow do not think that you are. You ask:-" What's it you like about the rotting dead flesh of another animal? The cancer? Diabetes? Heart disease?" I actually like the taste, the diseases you attempt to attribute to the eating of "rotting dead flesh" are not caused by eating meat, they can be brought on by eating too much meat, just as they can be brought on by eating too much of any particular type of food. There are other causes of those diseases as well, including being genetically disposed towards them. I happen to like my "hen's period" prepared in a variety of different ways, boiled, fried, scrambled, poached, I have even been known to take them raw. A question for you, when you have managed to get the entire human population of this planet to adopt a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, what species will you start on next? Will you go out chastising Chimpanzees for being meat eaters? for being cannibals? Or is it OK for them, because they're just dumb animals? careful how you answer, you don't wish to accused of being a supremacist now, do you?

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