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“Cowfunding” to buy the freedom of cow and slaughterhouse escapee Hermien

30 January 2018 – Last week, the Dutch Party for the Animals launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to save a cow called Hermien from slaughter. The cow managed to escape just before being taken to the abattoir and for weeks, she has hidden in the Dutch forests, evading capture by hunters, officers, vets and farmers. However, the hunt for the animal continued. The Party for the Animals decided to help Hermien by raising money that will allow her to live a quiet life in a cow shelter. Thousands of Dutch citizens sympathised and donated money.

Party for the Animals MP Esther Ouwehand: “Hermien is fighting for her life and we are going to help her. She reminds us all of an important lesson: no animal wants to be sent to slaughter.

Hermien managed to escape when she was being loaded for slaughter. Since then, she has remained in the forests for over six weeks, while being hunted. Several attempts to capture the animal have failed.

Desire for freedom

This is not the first time a cow has shown how much it values freedom. A cow that escaped from a farm in Poland last autumn, appeared to have joined a herd of wild bison in the Bialowieza Forest. And she seems to be in good condition. Like bison, cows are herd animals and closely related to one another.

Donations

Thousands of people have donated money and helped to make the campaign a success, e.g. by tweeting messages followed by #HelpHermien and #FreeHermien.

The money will be used to ensure that for the rest of her life, Hermien will be well cared for in cow shelter “De Leemweg”. The shelter is entirely dependent on donations, and adopts and looks after cows from the Netherlands that have escaped from slaughterhouses, cows that have been neglected, or, for whatever reason, have nowhere else to go. In the shelter, cows are allowed to live a quiet and peaceful life until their natural death.

Earlier crowdfunding campaigns launched by the Party for the Animals have also proven successful. In 2006, the party bought the freedom of a bull named Bikkel, who was discarded and given to a calf fattening farm after a short life in a petting zoo. The party also saved a cow called Sjoerdje from death after she had escaped on her way to the slaughterhouse.