The Farm Animal Sanctuary

Help us purchase our forever home

They come to us as broken animals. We give them back their life. Our animals need to stay at Manor Orchard Farm for the rest of their lives, we promised them a forever home, and we will keep that promise. We need YOUR help to make this possible.
raised of £944,000 target
by 1295 supporters
RCN 702287

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We have been given the opportunity to buy Manor Orchard Farm and we need to do this urgently. The farm is on the market now and if a suitable offer is made by someone else we might miss our chance. We have to do this, to transport them, many of our older animals, including a blind horse and aged blind sheep, although healthy and living a good life, would have to be euthanised for welfare reasons and on Veterinary advice. And, there is nowhere else for a mixture of over five hundred, mixed farm animals to go.

To do this, we have to raise £944,000 It sounds to be an impossible sum.

We have now been at Manor Orchard Farm for 30 Years. In that time we have made a lot of improvements to make life even more comfortable for our animals, creating new paddocks, purchasing stables, field shelters, a new barn, hard standing in handling areas and pig paddocks, grassland improvement, and many more.

Bringing in animals in need is only a part of what we do. Over the years we have investigated and reported many cases of animal cruelty and neglect, with positive results.

Not so long ago, with the help and evidence provided by our Vet, we were successful in bringing a case of gross neglect and unnecessary suffering to sheep before a Court.

After receiving a complaint we went to see the sheep, who were owned by a local man. They were weak, distressed and were alive with maggots.

Under the supervision of our local police and with our Vets attendance we were able to remove twelve of the worst affected animals that evening, they were days away from dying a painful, wretched death. Maggot infestation was the worst the Vet had seen in an animal that was still alive, some of the holes in their flesh were big enough to put a fist into. One ewe lay still, with her head on the floor, she looked as though shed given up and was beyond our help, she was to be euthanised to put her out of her misery after the Vet had checked the others. When she went back to her the ewe lifted her head and looked into the face of the Vet, she was brought home, she'd shown us that she wanted help. We named her Hope.

She survived, they all survived, they stayed calm and trusting while their wounds were dealt with, the rotting fleeces taken off, many weeks later we had twelve bright, confident ewes, all putting flesh, aka meat, on their bony frames. The scars in their memory had faded, although they'd carry the scars left on their bodies for much longer.

We're known as a nation of animal lovers, how many people are able to look behind the scenes or would even want to, or would turn away and say its nothing to do with me?

The abuse of animals, especially farm animals goes on out in the open, its happening now, at markets, sale yards and on farms. Question it and the answer is they're going to be eaten anyway, so why the fuss?

Over the years we've found and taken in a wide variety of animals. Lily and Ginger, two Shetland pony foals, too young to have left their mother, sold to us in market for £9. Ginger was too stressed and weak to be able to stand, ignored by all the Welfare Officers present. They're twenty two now, still going strong.

Jacqueline, the heifer put in calf when she was too young, and suffering from malnutrition. Our Vet had to perform a caesarean with Jacqueline tied up by the side of the road, her field was just a quagmire, the cattle in there were dragging themselves round knee deep in mud. The owner was given no choice when we told him we were taking her and her calf back to the Sanctuary. He had been reported on a regular basis for causing unnecessary suffering to his animals, nothing was done, he was told to try and do better.

Percy, the Wonder Pig. Found in a comatose state lying on the side of the M42, only a few months old. No marks on him, no ear tags, all illegal, the only place Percy could have been travelling to was a place where illegal slaughter could take place. Strangely, no one came forward to say they'd mislaid a pig.

Battery hens, as many as we've had space for over the years. They come out of the crates, blinking in the daylight, almost featherless, feet calloused from spending all their time standing on a wire floor. As soon as they see grass they change, they haven't forgotten how to forage for insects, they haven't forgotten how to lie in the sun and spread their wings, they haven't forgotten how to chase flying insects, they've just put up with living in a prison when, unknown to them, they hadn't committed a crime.

And so it goes on. Ewes and lambs brought to us from farms suffering with infected limbs, cancerous growths, massive abscesses, lambs unable to walk, all left to get on with it.

Queenie the ewe had to have her leg amputated to save her life, a simple untreated infection had destroyed bone and tissue.

Lambs, Pandora, Freedom, and very recently Ted, Violet and Minnie, all disabled from birth, are up and running. Blind lambs who were going to be shot are now contented and confident, enjoying the same life as all the other sheep.

George and Kanga, George born with the bones in his front legs not where they should have been, no future for him unless it was in the farm freezer, and Kanga, brought to us with seven other disabled lambs, she couldn't even sit up due to the pain in all of her joints. All treatable with a suitable course of antibiotics, but they weren't worth it.

And we still hear, as long as they're humanely kept and humanely slaughtered I feel that its okay to eat them.

Why has everyone at the Farm Animal Sanctuary become so passionate about our mission to raise the funds to keep our animals here? Generally, the people who work here and have worked here want to work with animals, an outdoor life, nothing specific.

Now they've seen the other side of what can happen when animals are reared for meat and milk. To be present when broken animals are brought in, some too late to be saved, those who make it are celebrated, everyone who has taken part in bringing those damaged animals back to life takes that feeling home with them.

I was a meat eater, I drank milk and ate cheese, I didn't have feelings or curiosity about how it was produced.

By default I became a journalist, specialising in investigations into animal abuse, smoking beagles, primates in labs, zoo animals.

When I witnessed what was happening in our Livestock markets I focused on that. Abuse in markets was normal behaviour, unnoticed or ignored by welfare officers present to protect them. It led to me following consignments of sheep, cattle and calves all over Europe for a National Newspaper.

It once took four days to transport a lorryload of sheep from Dover to Perpignan, in the south of France because we were trapped in snowdrifts in the Pyrenees. Livestock lorries had an open top tier in those days, it took 24 hours before the driver grudgingly got out and covered the top tier with a tarpaulin, by which time the sheep had inches of snow on their backs.

We followed cattle into Abattoirs in Belgium and France, where bewildered, placid animals were beaten into a cattle race, no escape, to watch their fellow companions killed. They were going to be next.

We followed calves who had been shipped from Dover into a calf rearing unit in Belgium. They were confused, where were their mothers? They were manhandled into tiny crates, to spend the rest of their short lives devoid of company, in dark windowless buildings, no bedding in case they ate it to satisfy their natural needs, just a liquid diet before they died to provide what? Veal!

One of them sucked my fingers and wouldn't let go, the first time I ever let my feelings get the better of me. How can we still do it to them?

Were a very strong team. We have almost 600 animals in our care at the moment, please support us however you can to enable them to live out their lives at Manor Orchard Farm with us.

Our animals and their histories, are living proof that they are sentient beings, they are the Ambassadors to bring about change.

We have to stay here, no question about it.

About the charity

The sanctuary gives a permanent home to over 550 farm animals rescued from neglect, cruelty, starvation and abandonment. We campaign peacefully to improve conditions for farm animals and conditions in livestock markets. At the Sanctuary farm animals are for life and not for slaughter.

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+ £11,178.66 Gift Aid
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