A COW that ran away from the abattoir is looking forward to a very different life after gaining nearly 30,000 signatures in support.
The three-year old heifer will be moving to a teaching farm after its owner agreed to sell the rebellious animal for €5,500.
The young cow was being taken to the abattoir in Saint-Romain-de-Popey, Rhône, when she escaped by knocking down a barrier and smashing a metal grille before charging into the courtyard of a carpentry firm.
It took nine gendarmes and injections of five doses of tranquilliser to get her under control - which meant she was considered inedible for a month until the chemicals have completely left her system.
A Belgian animal-lover, Jasmine Cerfontaine, then got involved - naming her Marguerite and launching a petition on change.org called "The little cow who didn’t want to die".
The cow's owner, André Bergéon, contacted a French animal activist, Stéphane Lamart, and offered to sell him his cow for €10,000 euros plus tax.
"He understood that my cow has a difficult personality and can't go to a petting farm. If he buys her, she'll just have to be let loose on the hillside," he told the press. "So I told him I'd take a euro for every signature on the petition and there were 10,000 signatures at that point."
The normal price for a beef animal of her weight is around €3,600. But he added: "I'd be a bit stupid not to make a profit out of the story. After all, these associations have got a lot publicity out of it."
Christophe Buseniers, the vice president of the Association Stéphane Lamart, told the Connexion: "The farmer settled for €5,500, tax included, and at the end of June we will be transferring Marguerite to a teaching farm in the Loir-et-Cher, where she will be sterilised and integrated into the herd.
"She will live there for the rest of her life. This episode demonstrates just how much animals understand. At the abattoir, they don't want to be killed."
Farm animal lobby group L214 says the issue is much wider. Spokeswoman Brigitte Gothière said: "Why this cow and not the others?
"Thousands of cows are killed every day and some of the same people who are campaigning for this cow's life, eat other dead cows every day.
"It just highlights the paradox that thinking, empathising people eat meat, because logically-speaking no one who loves animals should eat meat.
"It's ironic and sad that one cow gets media attention when thousands of others are killed in abattoirs every day and no one says anything."
To donate to the fund to save Marguerite, pay for her transport and her keep at the farm, visit this site.