Belfast Telegraph

'Gay' bull saved from slaughter

A "gay" bull has been saved from slaughter after the terminally ill co-creator of The Simpsons donated thousands towards its rescue.

Benjy, a Charolais in Co Mayo, Ireland, was being fattened for the butcher after his farmer owner complained he was not sexually interested in cows.

His plight came to the attention of animal activists, who said he was more interested in bulls, last week through a local newspaper report.

After launching a fundraising drive to save Benjy, Sam Simon, the Hollywood producer behind The Simpsons and other hit comedy series such as Cheers and Taxi, stumped up the 6,250 euro needed to buy the bull.

Mr Simon, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, has vowed to use his 100 million dollar (80 million euro) fortune to help animal causes before he dies.

"All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he's gay would've been a double tragedy," he said.

A life-long vegan, Mr Simon said he felt compelled to act and was thrilled that Benjy's fate was now "a sanctuary rather than a sandwich".

The bull will be transported to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in the UK in time for Christmas where he can "live out his natural life with peace and dignity", said activists.

More than 250 others also contributed towards the cause through a crowd-funding scheme set up by Irish animal protection group Aran and TheGayUK.com.

John Carmody, of Aran, said there was a phenomenal response to their pleas.

"The response from around the world has been so very encouraging, but to now hear that Sam Simon, co-creator of the world's most popular animated sitcom, is stepping in is just icing on the already well-baked cake," he said.

"What could be better than to present Benjy with a Christmas gift that will literally last a lifetime, by giving him a one-way ticket to freedom."

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