Marcus the little lamb was slaughtered Monday despite angry protests, negative publicity and possible threats. The decision to have the hand-raised, six-month-old pet lamb butchered was made by the school children who raised him.
In January, Marcus was added to an educational school farm project in Kent, England. About 250 children participated in the hands-on project that teaches the students about the aspects of farming and raising animals. Ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs are also part of the project.
The children of the Lydd Primary school council voted – and most agreed Marcus should be butchered. The council, comprised of 14 young children, voted 13 to 1 to send him to slaughter. The children who voted were between the ages of 7 and 11.
Headmistress Andrea Charman issued a statement on Monday, “The decision to send the 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.”
Although many parents supported the decision to butcher Marcus, others were outraged by the decision and began a campaign to save the little lamb who had been bottle-fed since birth by the children. An online campaign to save the lamb began to rally support. Paul O’Grady, a popular talk show host, offered to purchase Marcus and give him safe sanctuary. Businesses also offered to buy the lamb. Some suggested using Marcus to teach children about wool. Others worry about children being traumatized by the decision.
Since Marcus had been castrated, he could not have been used for breeding purposes. The money from Marcus was going to be used for a raffle to buy piglets for the farm, but that has been put on hold. In fact, the entire farm project may be discontinued due to the negative response and outcry over Marcus. A campaign to have Charman removed as Headmistress is also underway.
Officials are looking into possible threats made against the staff and school. A Facebook entry reportedly suggested the school be burnt down.
Little lamb photo in Kent from Law Keven