Victory for Penka the cow as she is spared from slaughter for crossing EU border
Great news for eurosceptics: Bulgarian officials confirmed that Penka the cow will not be put down, following calls from across Europe - led by the Brexit bulletin - for the hapless bovine to be spared.
This newsletter, along with a petition I set up two weeks ago, had urged EU officials not to hand down a death sentence for Penka after she wandered off into neighbouring, non-EU Serbia.
Why the fuss? Penka risked suffering death by EU red tape for breaking the bloc’s rules, even though Serbian vets gave her a clean bill of health.
For many, Penka's plight at the hands of EU officialdom was a reminder of why Britain voted to quit the bloc.
And the petition truly struck a chord; it was signed by more than 30,000 people, including Beatles singer Paul McCartney.
MEP John Flack, who learned of Penka's plight from the Brexit bulletin, said he was delighted by the news, which he felt was a victory for common sense and compassion.
This was a story with many twists and turns. At one point our Brussels correspondent, James Crisp, was told by a senior source in Brussels that EU rule-citing jobsworths in Bulgaria were enthusiastic about killing Penka because it would have been cheaper than putting her through quarantine. Dastardly!
Many newspapers jumped on the Penka bandwagon, including the Daily Mail and the German tabloid Bild. But it was the Telegraph’s Brexit bulletin that led the way.