SOUTH WOODFORD: Girl finds deer leg in bag of pet hay

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Isabel with dad James and the deer leg Isabel with dad James and the deer leg

AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl got the fright of her life after she found a decomposing deer leg in a bag of pet hay.

Isabel Henderson made the grim discovery after opening a bag of Bob Martin’s ‘My Little Friend Meadow Hay’ for her guinea pigs Ginny and Squeak.

Dad James, 53, of Peel Road, South Woodford, said: “I was in the kitchen making breakfast, and I just heard this terrific scream.

“Then Isabel came running past me shouting ‘There’s something dead in the bag, dad!’

“My wife didn’t want to look so I had to deal with it.

“There was this black cloven hoof sticking out of the hay, it was all a bit grim.

“I pulled it out and it was clearly a deer leg with bits of fur and decomposing flesh attached to it.”

Manufacturers Bob Martin advertise the hay as ‘fresh and hygienic’ and say it makes a ‘soft cosy home’ for pets.

Mr Henderson bought the £1.99 bag from Sainsbury’s in South Woodford, and called the store to let them know about the grisly find.

He said: “To give them their credit they did apologise.

“But I think they need to look into this product to make sure it doesn’t happen again, because this was a pretty traumatic experience for a young child.”

Isabel, who goes to Churchfields Junior School in South Woodford, said: “It was very scary and when I told my friends at school, they couldn’t believe it.

“I will carry on feeding Ginny and Squeak and putting down their hay, but I think I will get my dad to open the bags from now on.”

Mr Henderson said: “If she’s too scared, I’ll open the bags for her.

“But I think I’ll buy a pair of gloves first!”

A spokeswoman for Bob Martin said: "We would like to express our sincere apologies to James and Isabel Henderson for any distress caused following the discovery of animal matter in a pack of Bob Martin Meadow Hay.

"Before being packed into little bales, the untreated natural hay is visually inspected and mechanically screened to get the undersize material out.

"However, due to the nature of the harvesting and automated packing processes, preventing foreign objects from ending up in the hay, including plant life and, on extremely rare occasions animal matter, cannot be guaranteed.

"Our Quality Team will be reviewing processes to see how we can best prevent a reoccurrence."

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Comments (5)

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10:52am Thu 14 Jun 12

ClifftonX says...

Hay from supermarkets is a rip-orr. You can buy a bale from a farm for £3, which will last months.
Hay from supermarkets is a rip-orr. You can buy a bale from a farm for £3, which will last months. ClifftonX

1:10pm Thu 14 Jun 12

T. Watts says...

Next headline: "Guardian reader finds dead story in online version."
Next headline: "Guardian reader finds dead story in online version." T. Watts

1:42pm Thu 14 Jun 12

ClifftonX says...

As per the old joke, I think she should keep quiet about it or everyone will want a deer leg in their hay.
As per the old joke, I think she should keep quiet about it or everyone will want a deer leg in their hay. ClifftonX

2:45pm Thu 14 Jun 12

John Dee says...

I want to know what happened to the rest of the deer. Did some other luckier customer find venison steaks in their hay?

Joking apart though, it is still a pretty disgusting find.
I want to know what happened to the rest of the deer. Did some other luckier customer find venison steaks in their hay? Joking apart though, it is still a pretty disgusting find. John Dee

3:49pm Thu 14 Jun 12

John Dee says...

Egads! A very grisly find indeed. Poor girl.
Egads! A very grisly find indeed. Poor girl. John Dee

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