Reprieved cow Penka meets politician who saved her

Campaigning British MEP John Flack has come face to face with Penka, the cow whose life he helped save after EU bureaucracy dealt her a death sentence.

Mr Flack, Conservative MEP for the East of England, was already in Penka's home country of Bulgaria on parliamentary business this week and took the opportunity to drive a few miles outside Sofia to visit her.

A long-standing campaigner for animal rights, Mr Flack stepped in to urge a change of heart when food safety authorities ruled Penka must be killed after she wandered off across a border into Serbia, which is outside the EU.

At her hilltop pasture near the village of Kopilovtsi, he gave her a pat and fed her some of her favourite treats - apples and corn.

He was thanked by her owner, farmer Ivan Haralampiev, who had appealed for help when he feared losing Penka, one of only seven cows in his herd.

Mr Flack said: "Penka was probably wondering what all the fuss was about, but it was good to see her looking so healthy and happy.

"When animals are suffering and dying needlessly all over the world, this was a small victory. But it was satisfying that we managed to cut through the bureaucracy and the cilp-board mentality to get her spared.

"I really want to congratulate the authorities concerned for their sensible and humane change of heart."

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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