Carmen, a cow diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis, has been saved from the slaughterhouse after more than 70,000 people signed an online petition calling for her to be allowed to live out her days at the Madrid animal sanctuary where she has spent the last two years.
The Wings of Heart animal refuge challenged the regional government of Madrid’s order to have Carmen put down, saying it lacked authority over its installations, taking to the social networks and using online petition site Change.org to rally support.
Within 24 hours, the campaign had garnered 70,866 signatures of support, prompting the authorities to come up with another solution to prevent the spread of the disease: Carmen would have to be kept in isolation.
All animals at the refuge susceptible to catching tuberculosis will be tested as well
Bovine tuberculosis can be spread to other livestock and to humans. The founders of Wings of Heart questioned the tests carried out on Carmen, requesting further examinations, which were refused.
“The tests on eradication of diseases cannot be carried out by just any vet, they require particular training, which provides certification,” said a source at the Agriculture Department of the regional government, pointing out that it could not force the organization to put the cow down: “We cannot oblige them by law, but we recommended they did so in the interest of public health.”
At a meeting between representatives of the Agriculture Department of the regional government of Madrid with the founders of Wings of Heart, it was agreed that tests would be carried out on all animals at the refuge susceptible to catching tuberculosis and that measures would be taken to reduce the risk of those working there.
English version by Nick Lyne.