Belfast Telegraph

Cows sought for charity airlift

The hunt is on for 70 cows willing to take to the skies as part of an ambitious charity flight.

A herd of heifers will be checking in at a Belfast airport later this year ahead of a one-way aid trip to Romania to help communities struggling to feed themselves.

The charity behind the agricultural airlift - Bothar - is looking for generous farmers willing to donate one of their cows and allow it to join the flight.

Bothar 2012 Heifer Appeal has been backed by Irish rugby star Rory Best, who is himself a dairy farmer.

"It's unbelievable the difference one local heifer can make to the lives of people in other countries," said Best.

"The farming community in Northern Ireland is a very close-knit group - we've always supported each other as best we can - well I'd like to ask local farmers to join me in extending that community support a little further afield this year and consider donating one of their cows to the Bothar NI 2012 Heifer Appeal.

"In a time like this it's just the right thing to do."

You do not have to be a farmer to help, with Bothar asking other people to donate money to help fund the aid flight and associated costs, such as vaccinating the cows.

The charity has carried out similar airlifts from the Republic of Ireland but this will be the first heifer airlift from Northern Ireland.

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal or donating a heifer can contact Bothar NI on 028 9062 7308 or post their donation - cash not cow - to Bothar NI, Anna House, 37a Upper Dunmurry Lane, Belfast BT17 0AJ. Heifers should be first time in-calf Holstein Friesians, preferably 30 months or younger.

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