Sad farewell to Stepney cows bound for pastures in the sky
10:07 17 October 2013
They have been popular members of Stepney City Farm for many years, and one even had a spot on hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing.
But next month staff will have to say a sad farewell to Lloyd the bull and his buddy Leila the cow as the hooved pair are set to be culled.
Lloyd featured alongside Strictly contestant Nancy Dell’Olio in 2011 in a Spanish themed sketch, which saw partner Anton Du Beke teach the former girlfriend of Sven Göran-Eriksson how to do the pase doble.
Karen Hart, the farm’s communication officer, said the decision to slaughter them was made after “much deliberation”.
“We are a working farm and apart from producing manure the cows don’t have a use,” she explained.
“On top of this we have very limited funds and have to take into account they cost over £2,000 a year to feed and look after,” she explained.
“They are also getting old which will mean increasing health problems.
The pair can not be moved to another site as they don’t have passports, which, since the foot and mouth crisis, all cattle require if they are to be transported.
“If they had passports, we would have moved them on to more appropriate accommodation,” Karen said. “We’re tried several times to persuade the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to give them ones, but without success.”
Volunteer manager, Katharine Sharp, has spent the last few months explaining the reasons behind the slaughter to volunteers and farm visitors.
“Obviously people are sad that they are going, but they understand,” Karen said.
Leila and Lloyd will not be used for meat, as DEFRA regulations state cows without passports cannot enter the food chain.
“Later this year we will be getting smaller, young calves on the farm which are safer for volunteers and visitors to handle,” she added. “They will be raised for meat sales.”