A cow that faced being killed because it crossed the EU border was spared by the Bulgarian government after an international outcry.
Penka the cow wandered away from her herd near the Bulgarian village of Mazarachevo and into neighboring Serbia last month, leaving the European Union without the proper paperwork.
The pregnant cow was identified by her ear tag and returned two weeks later. However, according to EU guidelines animals must have documents certifying their health before crossing the border, so upon Penka’s return Bulgarian authorities ordered her to be put down.
The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency agreed to review her case, and on Monday gave her a clean bill of health and a new lease on life, Reuters reported.
“It is expected the animal will be allowed back to her former home in the village of Mazarachevo by the end of the week,” the agency said in a statement.
The cow’s death sentence sparked an international outrage with animal rights campaigners, including former Beatle Paul McCartney, condemning her proposed fate.
An online petition to “Save Penka the cow” garnered over 30,000 signatures. British MEP John Flack wrote to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani in an attempt to save the animal. He also offered to pay for a vet to carry out the necessary checks, according to the BBC.