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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Calf for epidemic cull survivor
Phoenix with her owner Michaela Board
Phoenix is due to give birth at the end of June or start of July
A Devon cow who, as a calf, became a symbol of hope after the foot-and-mouth epidemic is just weeks away from bearing her first calf.

Phoenix the cow, a pure white Charolais, made the headlines when the Prime Minister intervened to spare her life days after she was found next to her mother's body at a Devon farm.

Phoenix was artificially inseminated and her owner Philip Board said he will leave it up to the media to come up with a name for her offspring.

We had a visit from an Australian and three Americans whose car broke down nearby and they had all seen her on TV at home
Philip Board, Phoenix's owner

"She is due to give birth at the end of June or the beginning of July," said Mr Board.

Phoenix was just a day old when slaughtermen culled 70 cattle and 47 sheep at the farm of Mr Board and his 36-year-old wife Michaela because animals on a nearby farm had contracted foot-and-mouth.

Somehow the slaughtermen failed to kill Phoenix - born on 13 April 2001 - and her survival went undiscovered for five days.

The Boards bottle-raised Phoenix in the garage of their 45 acre Clarence Farm, near Axminster, and resisted a demand that the calf should be culled from the then Ministry of Agriculture.

Media furore

A media furore followed, and the government ultimately announced a change in contiguous culling policy which spared Phoenix.

"The birth of the calf will be the start of a new herd," said Mr Board.

Since her birth Phoenix has been the star of agricultural shows across the country, helping to raise cash for leukaemia research.

"People still come to see her, we had a visit from an Australian and three Americans whose car broke down nearby, and they had all seen her on TV at home," Mr Board said.




SEE ALSO:
Phoenix out of solitary
16 May 01  |  UK News
Phoenix heads for panto stardom
03 May 01  |  Entertainment


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