Cow to be slaughtered for wandering across border…with no papers

An in-calf cow from Bulgaria has reportedly caused quite a stir recently, after it “illegally” crossed the EU border into Serbia without the proper clearance from the authorities.

It is understood that Bulgarian authorities have since ordered the cow to be slaughtered – leaving the farmer “understandably distraught”.

The issue was raised by a journalist working for The Daily Telegraph at a press conference in Brussels this morning, as the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, announced the commission’s legislative proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020.

Commissioner Hogan had fielded a number of questions relating specifically to the proposals when the plight of ‘Penka‘ the cow was brought up.

The journalist explained that orders have been given to slaughter the cow, which is due to calve in just a few months, despite it being in “perfect health”.

Concluding, he asked the commissioner: “Is there another way? Can you help Penka or are you content to be the ‘Butchers of Brussels‘?

In response, Commissioner Hogan advised the journalist to get in contact with the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, as the situation is a matter of “food safety and animal health”.

It has been reported that Bulgarian authorities have said the cow must be put down, due to EU regulations governing the movement of livestock – despite Serbian vets claiming the cow is in good health.

Is this a case of bureaucracy gone mad? Or is it simply right and proper application of the – normally sensible looking – rules? What difficulties could such a sorry tale hold for the Irish border (which will soon become an EU border)?