Peta Watson-Smith likened the treatment of farm animals to the holocaust days ahead of her bid to join the RSPCA national council

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A candidate who was standing for election to join the RPSCA’s national council likened farming to the holocaust.

Speaking to the Times, Peta Watson-Smith said: “I don’t think people always appreciate what is the holocaust going on behind closed doors. You talk about the Jews. This probably sounds like animal rights, but if you recognise animals as sentient beings, why are we treating them so abysmally on farms?”

NFU vice president Jonathan Brant, speaking as an individual farmer, said her comments were disgusting.

He said: “The fact that this person is a vegan and vegetarian is affecting her judgement and accountability. I don’t have problems with vegans and vegetarians if it’s a personal preference but not to bandy out inaccuracies about the way that we as farmers look after our animals.”

Watson-Smith’s comments follow an attempt to persuade the RSPCA to stop supporting the Freedom Food accreditation scheme. Seconding the motion raised at the recent annual meeting, she said: “Regrettably the RSPCA cannot claim it protects farm animals while it condones slaughter through its ownership of Freedom Food, a company that assures lives that ended in slaughter.”

The radical went even further, urging the charity to sell Freedom Food and divert the cash into prosecuting more “farm and slaughterhouse owners, managers and workers”.

Peta Watson-Smith was one of six people standing for five seats on the national council. She didn’t get enough support for a seat.