Bafta win for vegetarian farmer who gave away herd

  • 11 February 2019
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Jason Isaacs with Oliver Walton and Alex LockwoodImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jason Isaacs (left) presented the award to Oliver Walton (middle) and Alex Lockwood (right)

A film about a vegetarian farmer who gave his cows to an animal sanctuary to save them from the slaughterhouse has won a Bafta.

Jay Wilde, from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, hit the headlines after handing his beef herd to a Norfolk rescue centre.

Filmmaker Alex Lockwood’s documentary, 73 Cows, won best short film at Sunday’s Bafta awards.

Mr Wilde had said Mr Lockwood had done a “wonderful job” on the 15-minute film.

Image copyright Jay Wilde
Image caption Jay Wilde gave his herd to a sanctuary to spare them “a terrifying death” at the slaughterhouse

The film, which won the grand prize at the 2018 Ottawa International Vegan Film Festival, covers Mr Wilde’s struggles with his conscience and the beef farming industry.

Mr Wilde said he had expected another routine interview when Mr Lockwood approached him, and after “an awful lot of work” he said he was very happy with the final product.

“I saw it at the Raindance festival last year for the first time, and it’s the first time I’ve been forced to watch myself on screen,” he said.

“I can see how other people will find it moving – Alex has done a wonderful job.”

Image caption The cows are now being cared for by Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk

Mr Wilde had said he would not be attending Sunday’s ceremony, but hoped the film would emerge victorious.

“Alex has done a fantastic job, but I certainly don’t feel like Bafta material,” he said.

The rescued cows were enjoying their new life at Hillside Animal Sanctuary near Frettenham, Mr Wilde added.

A vegetarian for more than 25 years, he grew up herding cows and took over the family farm when his father died.

Image copyright Jay Wilde
Image caption Jay Wilde said Alex Lockwood’s film “got the most emotional response” when the films were shown at a Bafta screening

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