- Penka, a pregnant red cow, crossed into non-EU Serbia from her farm in Bulgaria
- Bulgarian officials plan to put Penka down after she crossed the border illegally
- The cow did not have the correct documentation at the time of the crossing
- Penka was given a clean bill of health by Serbian vets but won’t be allowed to live
A cow who escaped her farm and wandered across the border out of the EU is to be put down over safety fears.
Penka, a pregnant red cow who is due in around three months’ time, wandered westwards away from its herd near the Bulgarian village of Kopilovtsi on May 12, straying over a border checkpoint into non-EU Serbia.
But after it was returned to its owner Ivan Haralampiev by a farmer over the frontier, Bulgarian officials said the animal must be put down because of strict EU rules.
Penka will now be executed because it didn’t have the proper paperwork – despite being given a clean bill of health by Serbian vets.
Penka is Bulgarian red cow who is currently pregnant and due to give birth in just three weeks
‘The motives are that she had left the borders of the EU’ and cannot be imported back into the European Union, Haralampiev told public BNT television Thursday as he pleaded for his cow to be saved.
‘A vet comes and orders it to be immediately culled!’
He farmer also lamented how the cow was able to saunter over the border unchecked.
‘How come nobody attempted to stop it?’ he said.
Although Serbian vets wrote a statement saying Penka was in a perfect condition and fit to return home, Bulgarian authorities said it should be put down without delay.
Officials told AFP Thursday that it was not in their powers to save Penka from the EU regulations.
Although Serbian vets wrote a statement saying Penka was in a perfect condition and fit to return home, Bulgarian authorities said it should be put down
‘It is not for us to decide. We are only implementing rules that come from Brussels,’ vet expert Lyubomir Lyubomirov told AFP.
According to the European Comission’s guidelines for transporting bovine animals across borders – cows like Penka are required to be presented at border checkpoints with documentation.
Official EU guidelines state: ‘Bovine animals being presented for entry into the EU must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate.
‘An official veterinarian in the authorised non-EU country must sign the certificate to attest that all the relevant conditions in the certificate have been met.
‘The certification must accompany the animals en-route to the EU and when they are presented for entry into the EU at an approved EU Border Inspection Post.’
EU rules state that Penka is technically an illegal immigrant having failed to provide the correct documentation at the border
Penka’s owner Ivan Haralampiev spoke to local media about the Bulgarian authorities’ decision to execute his cow