An animal rights campaigner was reported for alleged cruelty to lambs she helped save from slaughter.
Farmers were angry Judi Hewitt ignored regulations governing transporting livestock when she took three lambs from North Wales in Grantham to Lincolnshire.
But the animal campaigner accused her critics of hypocrisy.
Mrs. Hewitt, from Rhyl, agreed to help a friend, Beci Dywynte, who claimed the lambs were “distressed” at a Shropshire field.
Mrs. Hewitt who founded Denbighshire Animal Rights – now North Wales Animal Rights (NoWAR) – took the animals by car to Grantham, where her sister runs an animal sanctuary.
She said: “During the journey the lambs were very stressed and panting with the heat. It gave an idea of what they must endure when being transported as live exports to other countries.”
But the incident upset farmers who reported it to the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
A farmer’s wife from Rhyl, who asked not to be identified, said: “If farmers did what she did they would be prosecuted, and it’s wrong that she should get away with it.”
“Apart from the stress caused to the animals, there is the important issue of traceability.”
“I feel Judi Hewitt should be prosecuted because she did not comply with the rules.”
FUW agricultural policy director Arwyn Owen said: “We have been contacted by a number of FUW members who have expressed serious concern over the article, and as a result I have written to the trading standards department asking them to ensure that the general public are made aware of the rules relating to animal movements, in order to ensure that illegal animal movements such as the one mentioned are kept to a minimum.”
Mr. Owen said strict rules existed to protect animal health and welfare and farmers were held to account if they broke those regulations.
“There are also strict rules about how animals are transported humanely in order to avoid just the kind of symptoms experienced by the lambs that Mrs. Hewitt transported.
“Cars are not suitable vehicles for long-distance transportation of animals, given that they haven’t been designed with appropriate ventilation for animals,” he said.
Mr. Owen said there was no evidence the lambs were unwell when they were picked up from the farm, as claimed.
“Once again this seems to illustrate how animal welfare can be compromised by well-meaning but naïve members of the public,” he said.
“The matter would not be taken any further,” he said.
Mrs. Hewitt who is critical of exporting lambs said, “I just cannot believe the hypocrisy of those who grow animals just to kill them, accusing me of causing suffering to three pet lambs.”