Bóthar, the international agency that specialises in the use of livestock, has launched what is now becoming its annual appeal for spring calves. The organisation is seeking the donation of twenty heifer calves, as part of its ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ to provide animals for its Shelton Abbey rehabilitation project. The ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ follows an on going successful partnership with Shelton Abbey prison facility in Co. Wicklow, which has agreed to care for the animals at the prison’s on-site farm as part of their rehabilitation programme for inmates.
Calves donated by farmers, schools and community groups from all over the country will be taken to Shelton Abbey, where there will be reared by Shelton Abbey inmates for the next two years. Once they are mature enough and in calf, they will be flown to needy families in developing countries in Africa. The Spring Calf Appeal will run until 29th April 2011.
Over the last three years, 115 calves have been donated to the ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ from all over Ireland, to the Shelton Abbey farm for care by the inmates. The inmates of Shelton Abbey are currently looking after 20 dairy heifers that arrived there last spring; these animals are due to leave Shelton Abbey next October to travel to their new homes with struggling families in the developing world. The partnership between Shelton Abbey and Bóthar is mutually beneficial. Donated livestock receives excellent care at the farm while the scheme provides inmates with a positive way to contribute to society.
Governor of the prison Michael Lawton described the experience as being most rewarding. He said he found that the prisoners at Shelton Abbey were very moved to learn the enormous impact that one good Irish animal could have on a whole family, that for them it was like winning the lotto. He said that the inmates really appreciated the opportunity to give something back to society and hoped this word would get out to the wider community.
Peter Ireton, Bóthar Chief Executive said: “We’re hoping that our Spring Calf Appeal will be well supported again this year all over Ireland. I’ve already seen the positive effect that this project has had on inmates at the prison through the work they have done on Bóthar’s behalf over the last two years. The continuation of the project with dairy calves is a great way to sustain the good work being done.”
Each Irish calf will be donated to a family that has already received training in livestock care from Bóthar. The families that take part must agree to pass-on the first female offspring from their animal, to another family and so the effect of the donation is multiplied over and over. This system is an integral and essential part of all Bóthar animal projects.
If you would like to donate a dairy calf to Bóthar please contact Dave Moloney, Bóthar on 061 414142 or dave@Bothar.ie. The Spring Calf Appeal will run until 29th April 2011.