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Polish cows escape slaughterhouse after public outcry

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WARSAW (Reuters) – A herd of free-roaming cows in Poland, whose intended slaughter upset animal-lovers and created a national outcry, have secured a last-minute reprieve.

Likened to sacred cows in India by their owners, the 180 cattle wandered fields in the western municipality of Deszczno for years. But Poland’s chief veterinary officer declared them a danger to health and safety earlier this month.

Animal rights activists said the order to kill them was an outrage, given more humane possible solutions.

“The cows from Deszczno will not be slaughtered. Instead they will be isolated in a state-run farm,” Poland’s Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski said on Wednesday, according to state news agency PAP, concluding a national mini-drama.

Even President Andrzej Duda had his say, urging a “happy solution” before news broke of the cows’ stay of execution. “I am certain they will find it, even though EU rules call for the killing of these animals. Poles can do it!” he tweeted.

(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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