Campaign aims to save gay bull in Mayo

A campaign has been launched to save a gay bull in Co Mayo.

Campaign aims to save gay bull in Mayo

 News of the non-performing Charlolais, bought by a farmer in the south of the county, surfaced in the Connaught Telegraph last week who reported that 'Benjy' was destined for the slaughterhouse after failing to inseminate any of the cows. 

At first, the farmer thought Benjy might be a bit shy about "doing the business in public", but a vet checked him out and suggested a different reason for his indifference towards the heifers.

The farmer told the Irish Times: "At first I didn’t take seriously that the bull could be gay but after seeking advice I know this can happen."

Realising that Benjy was too old to be castrated, the farmer decided to cut his losses and fatten him up for slaughter, as his owner had to find a replacement breeding bull.

However, animal lovers in Ireland and gay rights advocates in the UK have now started a campaign to save him.

The founder of the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), John Carmody, who has stepped in to save Benjy from the butcher’s block said: "The plight of little Benjy is hitting the hearts and households of Irish society with the reality of what will face this innocent boy if someone somewhere doesn't step in.

The Limerick man continued: "As a gay man myself, I know only too well what it is like to be treated indifferently, that's why I hope we can give Benjy a second chance in life whilst helping to bring attention to the problems facing all gay people everywhere around the world, and of course the many other Benjy's that are brought to slaughter on a daily basis who are not so lucky."

TheGayUK, a British digital LGBT magazine, has set up a CrowdFunding page to buy Benjy and have him sent to a sanctuary in England. 

The campaign has so far raised £310 (€394) of the £5000 (€6367) total.

Graham Davies, Co-Founder of TheGayUK, said: "We hope to raise £5,000 to buy Benjy and have him re-homed within the Hillside Animal Sanctuary where he’ll be looked after till the natural end of his life.

"When we first heard about the story in the office we were quite shocked as poor Benjy isn’t being slaughtered because of illness, but instead because he was gay. Where’s the acceptance? Many LGBT people in the UK still fear judgment from others around them, so choose not to come out. 

"We wanted to do something positive, to make a stand and say someone is on your side. Man or beast. We are offering certain rewards for your pledges, however the main reason here is to save Benjy from slaughter."

A British university student, Charlie Smith, has also created a petition to save the bull, and she hopes to reach 1,000 sigatures before sending it to the Department of Agricultural.

It's been getting quite a bit of reaction on Twitter.

Although some of it has not been "supportive".


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