A FARMER from Rossendale has said he may have to sell off some of his animals for slaughter after a Government body has ordered him to shut down his petting farm.
The Planning Inspectorate has upheld an enforcement notice to close the popular attraction at Animal Quackers in Bacup.
The decision has been made following the refusal of a retrospective planning application for the tourist site by Rossendale Council in November.
It had previously been operating without permission since 2007.
Terry Bork, owner of the business at Huttock Top Farm in Newchurch Old Road, has been ordered to remove all equipment associated with the play farm by the end of March, although his 150 animals can remain.
However Mr Bork said he will not be able to afford to keep many of his animals if they are not bringing in revenue.
He said: “Our alpaca, donkey, mini pony, goat, sheep and highland cattle will have to go if this is final.
“They won’t be of any use and will have to go to slaughter, because we won’t have the money to keep them. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years and I wouldn’t want to do it.
“But for someone else to take them on, they would have to be able to put them to use as well, and make them financially viable.
“We’ve had 40,000 visitors at the farm over the past six years. We’re a very popular attraction in the borough, it will be very sad if we have to close.” Mr Bork is now considering turning the site into a pig farm and farm shop, which he said he will not need planning permission to do.
He said: “If I do, it will create a stench and have more traffic, and much bigger vehicles coming up and down the road.
“We’ve never had a problem with our neighbours in the past, but I think it will upset them if I do this, but I will be forced to — I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay.” Stephen Stray, planning manager at Rossendale Council, said: “Mr Bork can now take it to judicial review, but it will need legal grounds to be considered.
“He has resubmitted the planning application to Rossendale Council, but it will have to be significantly different to be considered.
“I can’t speculate on how successful it will be.”