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Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2006, 12:52 GMT
Minister rejects plea to save cow
Mark Harper MP with Harriet
The MP told the minister Harriet was no threat to human health
A campaign to save a pet cow in the Forest of Dean from being slaughtered has failed.

Nine-year-old Jersey cow Harriet was condemned to death because she may have shared the same feed as another cow that died of BSE.

Local Tory MP Mark Harper raised the animal's plight in the House of Commons on behalf of her owner, David Price.

But animal welfare minister, Ben Bradshaw, has insisted that she must be killed under BSE regulations.

'No danger'

During the parliamentary debate with the minister earlier this month, Mr Harper argued that Harriet had not shared feed with the infected animal.

He said there was no chance of her entering the human food chain and endangering people.

But in a letter to Mr Harper, the minister replied: "I cannot accept these as valid reasons to exclude this animal from the cohort cull.

"The law requires [Harriet] to be slaughtered as soon as possible."

I still believe that Harriet poses no threat and she does not deserve to die
Mark Harper, MP Forest of Dean

Mr Harper said: "I am very disappointed that the minister has decided not to spare Harriet's life although she is clearly no threat to human health.

"What is most frustrating is that he has taken the decision in the past to spare the lives of other animals who were supposed to be killed according to the rules.

"I still believe that Harriet poses no threat and she does not deserve to die."

The Price family, who bought Harriet as a pet when she was young, are to decide on what further action to take next week.

Vets intend to visit Harriet on Wednesday to arrange a date for slaughter.


SEE ALSO
Family's pet cow faces slaughter
07 Nov 06 |  Gloucestershire
MP pleads for the life of pet cow
09 Oct 06 |  Gloucestershire

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