Freelance Writer, Vancouver BC | Contactable via: hello@livekindly.co

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A farmer in the South of Ireland is sending his herd of 70 cows to live on an animal sanctuary rather than being sold to slaughter.

The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained brilliantly simply: “How could I send them to slaughter when there is this option for them? After all these years, they deserve more from me and they are very bonded as a herd. I can retire with peace of mind now, knowing they will live out their days together.”

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This is the first dairy herd to leave Ireland for a sanctuary and they are said to be very supportive of each other. When moving fields, the herd waits for the older cows and help support a young calf who sometimes suffers from epileptic fits by circling the calf until the fits stop.

The herd of cows are going to be sent to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in the Norfolk (UK). Hillside has running since 1995 and is now home to over 3000 animals and is one of the largest campaigning organisations for the animals’ cause in the UK.

This is a rather lovely example of news repeating itself. Earlier this summer, Jay Wilde – a farmer in the East Midlands – went vegetarian and sent his herd of cows to Hillside. At the time, Jay said “I’m relieved to have made the decision to no longer farm animals, something which I always found quite upsetting. Cows have good memories and a range of emotions. They form relationships. I’ve even seen them cry.”

The anonymous Irish farmer’s plans are to send not only his dairy cattle to Hillside, but the sheep and ponies from the farm as well. Charlie’s Equine Rescue are ensuring that the animals can get over to Norfolk from Ireland and in order to do this, they need to raise funds for transport and veterinary checks. You can help support this by checking out the GoFundMe – set up by – Catriona Lowry – for the animals move.

Not only are the cows getting their big move, but they’ve even had their own private concert. Sharon Shannon – an Irish musician – has been a huge supporter of this move and said that the farmer’s decision was “an awakening example of how kindness and compassion and a tender heart has won over in a world full of greed.” 

At the time of writing, the project is at €5,250 of it’s €6,500 goal and any surplus money raised will go to Wendy Valentine at Hillside Animal Sanctuary to help with the future care of the animals.

To see the excellent work that the Hillside Animal Sanctuary is doing, check out their website here.

And to help fund or support the cow’s move, find the GoFundMe page here.

The cow’s have been unavailable for comment, but are surely excited by their upcoming moo-ve.


Image credit: Hillside Sanctary| Hillside SanctuarySharon Shannon

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