A farmer from Halifax has spoken out after a barn with over 150 pregnant sheep was set on fire by a suspected arsonist yesterday.
Farmer Keith Midgley of Old Lane in Ovenden was able to save all the sheep but says that it makes him consider whether he wishes to continue his farming career.
“It’s just mindless. I despair. “We’ve had incidents over the years, with dogs attack sheep, thefts and vandalism, but never anything as bad as this. “It makes me want to say ‘enough is enough, let’s not bother any more’. I don’t make a great living out of farming, I’ve always done it, I love it, but this feels like the last straw.”
“The sheep are all coughing and spluttering,” Keith said, “the straw gives off a very dense and dangerous smoke. “The barn is designed in a way to allow ventilation through because its such a confined space. The smoke was just billowing straight at them, they had no escape.”
Keith described his admiration for the first service:
“They were incredible,” he said, “I cannot thank them enough. They ran into the flames and got all the sheep out. It was just heroic.
“Arson is becoming more and more common in the farming community.
“It’s just knock after knock at the moment and it does knock you backwards. It’s just mindless.
” A spokesperson for the Fire Service said: “Fire crews were called at 16.09 yesterday to a barn fire in Old Lane Halifax.
“This was attended by Illingworth, Halifax, Rastrick crews. “The barn was 50% involved in fire, one large jet, two hose reels and four breathing apparatus used to tackle the fire.
“By 16.56 hrs crews were damping down.”