The knackerman: the toughest job in British farming

The knackerman: the toughest job in British farming

Between accidents, disease and bad weather, farm animals are prey to so many disasters that dedicated professionals are called out to dispose of the casualties. It’s a grim task, and one that’s only getting more difficult

One bright morning in the middle of May, Ian Carswell’s tipper lorry came sliding to a halt in a Tenbury car park. It was a smallish thing with raw grey sides and nothing distinctive about it, the sort of truck that carries topsoil or aggregate all over the country.

“Jump in,” said Carswell, leaning over and prodding open the passenger door. The cab smelled of lemon air-freshener and self-consciousness. He wouldn’t normally allow a passenger, and almost certainly wouldn’t be taking one now if the boss hadn’t told him to.

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