No Country for Sick Cows
Dairy farmer Fergus Pong has staged a protest outside his local benefits office following a decision not to award Employment Support Allowance to his favourite cow. The benefit, which is given to assist people who are no longer able to work due to ill health, is not usually awarded to animals of working age, and Mr Pong believes that this is inherently unfair.
"It's not my Daisy's fault that she can no longer operate a lathe," said Pong, who tells us that his cow had worked for ten years in a small engineering firm in Staffordshire before contracting a rare tropical disease from a pig who worked in the canteen. "Now, whenever she's on her feet for more than ten minutes at a time she comes over all dizzy and has to have a lie down. Well, that's no good is it? When she went for her assessment the man there asked her if she could sit on a chair without feeling discomfort for more than twenty minutes. Well of course she can, so the man there pronounced her fit for work. Well what good is that? Who goes around employing cows to sit in chairs for twenty minutes at a time? There's no money in that lark. If there was, we'd all be doing it."
Mr Pong is currently helping Daisy to appeal against the decision and he is confident of success. He is also expecting good news after assisting his chickens to apply for Working Tax Credit.