A Bulgarian cow named Penka had been sentenced to death for crossing European Union borders without the necessary paperwork, but now she will be spared.
Penka had reportedly wandered away from her herd near the Bulgarian village of Mazarachevo last month. She walked out of the bloc into neighbouring Serbia.
When she was returned two weeks later, authorities said she would have to be put down as she had violated guidelines under which animals entering the European Union have to have papers verifying their health, reported the Reuters news agency.
Penka’s plight prompted protests on social media, particularly in Britain where eurosceptic campaigners and publications held her up as a victim of Brussels bureaucracy.
“I read the moos today oh boy! HUGE HUGE HUGE PENKA NEWS. SHE WILL LIVE!!!!!!!!!,” tweeted James Crisp, a journalist with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Animal rights group Four Paws said there were many stray animals crossing in and out of the EU on a daily basis.
“It will be really cruel to kill all those animals. I do hope that if there is a gap in European legislation, Penka’s case will help to solve this issue,” said group spokesman Yavor Gechev.