Marcus the lamb, who was hand-reared by children at a Kent primary school, is dead. The school's headteacher defied protests by a small number of parents, backed by animal rights groups and animal lovers, and yesterday stuck to a decision to have Marcus slaughtered. His carcass will be auctioned to pay for more farm animals.
Andrea Chapman, head of Lydd Primary School, Romney Marsh, appealed to the public yesterday to "move on" for the sake of the children's education.
"The decision to send the wether lamb for meat, which has the support of the school council and staff, the governing body and the majority of parents, has now been carried out," she said. Ms Chapman added that the children have had it explained to them ever since the school began rearing pets that animals such as Marcus are eaten as meat. "When we started the farm in spring 2009, the aim was to educate the children in all aspects of farming life and everything that implies," she said.
The school has been the centre of controversy since a small group of parents protested last week about the decision to kill the lamb. The television chat show host Paul O'Grady offered to buy Marcus, as did several animal sanctuaries.
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