Campaigning MEP John Flack - whose constituency covers Peterborough - is asking two of Europe’s most senior politicians to intervene in the case of a pregnant cow which is facing a death penalty for wandering away from her farm.
Mr Flack, Conservative MEP for the East of England, has written to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov over Penka the cow, who is to be killed because of ultra-strict application of EU rules.
EU officials are planning the slaughter after Penka strayed from Bulgaria into neighbouring Serbia, which is a non-EU member state.
Red cow Penka, due to calve in three months’ time, left her herd near the village of Kopilovtsi and strayed over a border into non-EU Serbia.
Although she was returned to her owner Ivan Haralampiev by a Serbian farmer, Bulgarian officials said shel must be put down because of strict EU rules.
Mr Flack, a long-standing campaigner for animal welfare, said: “I gather Penka was given a clean bill of health by Serbian vets, but that seems not to be enough to save her.
“Taking a short stroll should not be a capital offence.
“Surely this is a case where pragmatism should prevail over a strict reading of the rules. If the authorities don’t see that they have had a serious failure of common sense and compassion.”
As well as appealing to the two leaders, Mr Flack has offered to pay himself for an EU vet to examine Penka to confirm her good health.