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Cull Disabled Children As Though They Were Deformed Livestock, Says Councillor

14/08/2014 16:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

Collin Brewer sparks more outrage over disabled children comments

A councillor has compared disabled children to deformed lambs and said they should be culled.

Collin Brewer, an Independent councillor on Cornwall council, has previously sparked outraged by saying that disabled children should be 'put down'.

Now, he has said they should only be able to live if the financial implications have been considered - and compared the scenario to that of a farmer killing the runt of a litter.

Brewer had apologised and stepped down from his council position earlier this year after his original comments, but stood again for election this month, winning back his Wadebridge East seat by four votes in the May 2 elections.

He is now under pressure to resign again over his latest distasteful outburst, which was made during an interview with the Disability News Service.

Saying 'there may be case' for treating disabled children like livestock, Brewer referred to runt lambs, saying farmers often dispose of them by 'smashing them against a wall'.

"If they [farmers] have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang," he said.

He said that his previous comments about putting children down had been with a farmer who 'didn't see a lot wrong with what I said, because it is something they do every day'.

He said the farmer had told him 'We are just animals' to which he said: "He obviously has got a point - you can't have lambs running around with five legs and two heads. It would be put down, smashed against the wall and be dealt with."

Mr Brewer was asked if he therefore believed that there was not much difference between putting down a lamb and a child with two heads. He said it came down to money.

"I think the cost has got to be evaluated," he said. "It is not something I would like to do but there is only so much in the bucket. If you are talking about giving services to the community or services to the individual, the balance has got to be struck."

The councillor was then asked if he thought it would be kinder to euthanise a child with two heads, to which he replied: "Is that one child or two? I would hope that, although I don't like the idea of it, long before it is born that this problem is [dealt with] and it will probably be aborted in some way."

He said that post-delivery, whether the child lived would be up to 'whoever is there at the birth.'

Mr Brewer was also asked if there was a good argument for killing some disabled children with high support needs in order to cut costs. The Disability News Service reports that he replied to that: "Yes. That is why I keep as far away from health in the council as I can."

He also said that the financial 'burden' of supporting disabled children after their parents die also needs to be addressed.

Mencap, the UK's leading disability charity spoke to the Mail about Councillor Brewer's comments, branding them 'insulting, demeaning and disgusting'.

"In an attempt to give him the opportunity to apologise, or correct these comments, Mencap has tried, on a number of occasions, to contact Mr Brewer. We have had no success as we have been told has been on sick leave and his email doesn't work," they told the paper.

"We have asked him what he means by these insulting, demeaning and disgusting comments, and whether he intends to meet local groups representing disabled people to reassure them. Mencap is reluctant to give him further publicity but we now join the thousands of people who have contributed to an online petition calling for his resignation as soon as possible."

A 70-strong demonstation against Mr Brewer's re-election was held at County Hall in Truro last week. He is currently on sick leave from his council duties.

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