A FARMER'S wife has described her deep distress watching from the farmhouse windows as ministry men in white coats work to destroy cattle and sheep the family has tended through the long winter months.

Mother of five, Charmaine Yardley, of Longmore Farm, Chaddesley Corbett, said since vets had declared animals there infected with foot and mouth disease a week ago the days had passed like "a nightmare".

Mrs Yardley and her husband Roger manage livestock owned by two other farmers including Robin Feakin, of Stone,who is at the centre of the first outbreak in Wyre Forest.

Mrs Yardley said: "You never think it will happen to you and I still cannot believe it. We were feeding and looking after the cattle even after they were condemned. You have to look after them but it is heartbreaking."

She said one of the most distressing aspects was seeing the upset to her nine-year-old daughter who could witness from her bedroom window the smoke rising over the burning carcasses of 54 cows, 14 calves and 350 sheep.

"This has been a terrible week for us and my husband who was born on this farm. The only relief is that at least the bad smell of the dead animals is going. Next we will have to burn our contaminated crops like the huge pile of fodder beet and turnips we had stored.

"We were the first farm in the area to lay down disinfectant mats and we have done everything we can.

"What really worries us is that this infection could spread to others from here. We don't want anyone else to go through what we are going through."