A GAY bull which was destined for slaughter has arrived in his new Norfolk home in time for Christmas.
Earlier this year Benjy the bull’s future hung in the balance when his attraction to other bulls rather than cows in his Co. Mayo farm meant he wasn’t breeding.
But when news of the farmer’s intention to send Benjy to the abattoir spread, Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon backed a campaign launched by the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) in Ireland to save him.
This week the PETA animal rights charity, with the help of ARAN and a £5,000 donation from Simon, delivered Benjy to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norwich.
There he will “breathe fresh air, graze freely and never again face the threat of the butcher's block”, a PETA representative explained.
Based in the United States, Simon cannot visit Benjy in is new home but claims he is delighted he escaped the butcher’s hook.
“My health won't allow me to travel to the UK to see Benjy in his new home, but it thrills me to know that his fate is a sanctuary rather than a sandwich,” he said.
"I believe in compassion and empathy for all living beings – regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or species,” he added.
“That's why when PETA told me about 'Benjy, the gay bull', I felt compelled to help. All animals have a dire destiny in the meat and dairy industries, but for Benjy to have been killed because of his sexual orientation would have been a double tragedy."
As he settles into his new Norfolk home, Irish Benjy is said to have already found a friend in Alex, a one-year-old bullock.
"He's a handsome little lad, so you can't blame him," said a spokeswoman.
Regarding their new arrival Stefanie Leary, yard manager at Hillside, added: "Benjy's here because he's gay and is of no use to the farming industry. This has happened to have saved his life.”
She added: "He's travelled a long distance and is stressed, but he's coping with it well."