A FARMER who became upset when driving his lambs to an abattoir decided to drive the flock to a Kidderminster animal sanctuary instead.

Devon farmer Sivalingam Vasanthakumar 60, was travelling to the slaughterhouse where he was due to make nearly £10,000 from the animals, but says he was overcome with emotion and had a change of heart on the way.

The farmer, known as Kumar, drove 200 miles from Cornworthy in Devon to Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries in Milson, near Kidderminster to give them a new home.

Kumar has been a farmer for 47 years after starting on his parent's dairy farm in Sri Lanka, but has now changed his whole outlook.

He said: "The main reason was because I didn't like them being killed.

"I've always taken my animals to slaughter and killed the pork myself, I'm not ignorant to how farming works but it always made me stressed.

"It would stress the animals out too, they knew their fate.

"They would try to hide in the back of the trailer and wouldn't want to come out. I would have to push them out, it was very stressful for me and the animals."

He added: "For the last three months I was getting a batch ready to go and I decided I couldn't do it any more.

"It took me a while to make this decision, there was nothing special about this batch. I just couldn't do it any more."

Kumar says the attitude towards animals in the agricultural trade was different in his home country.

He added: "In Sri Lanka my parents ran a dairy farm and all the animals were our pets - They provided our livelihood."

"I used to eat lamb but not any more, I'm a vegetarian now. I'll still be farming and I'll grow vegetables.

"It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one."

Dave Bourne, manager of the animal sanctuary, said it had never received lambs from a farmer before.

He said there were only a "handful" of sanctuaries the UK that rehomed rescued farm animals and that the "lucky" lambs would have been worth around £9,000.