Bóthar calls on farming communities and general public for ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ donations

editorial image

Bóthar has launched its annual Spring Calf Appeal, calling on farmers to donate a calf that can be reared and put in-calf, so that in approximately 18 months time, she will be ready to be sent to a needy family in the developing world.

Dave Moloney, Deputy CEO, Bóthar said that the heifers, which are raised by prisoners at Shelton Abbey and Loughan House open prisons as part of a farming training programme, have a transformative effect from the moment the decision is taken to donate them.

“Our Spring Calf Appeal is one of Bóthar’s most impactful campaigns because so many benefit. The people who generously either donate the calves directly or raise money to purchase them benefit from knowing what they are doing is changing lives and the prisoners who raise them benefit hugely from the sense of giving back something,” he said.

“Our recipient families are getting a very special animal, one that can continue to give for many years. Every family that receives an Irish dairy heifer notices an immediate difference in their lives when she calves and starts to produce milk. Irish dairy cows do very well in the Developing World, giving about 16-20 litres of milk per day, whereas for example in Rwanda, the local, indigenous cow produces just one litre per day.”

Receiving this cow will be the first time that many of these families will earn an income and this gift of a food-and-income-producing animal is like receiving the keys to a successful business.

The partnership between the Irish Prison Service and Bóthar has been running very successfully for the past number of years. It is a great incentive for the prisoners as they take charge of the calves and rear them until they are transported to their new homes.

The in-calf dairy heifers are distributed to poor farming families in the Developing World, each of whom will receive expert training in livestock care before receiving their animal. Each family that receives the gift of an Irish dairy heifer agrees to pass-on the first-born female calf to another needy family.

Calves donated by farmers, schools and community groups from all over the country will be brought to the prisons, where there will be reared by inmates for the next 18months. Once they mature, they will be airlifted to needy families in the developing world.

Over the last five years, nearly 380 calves have been generously donated to the ‘Spring Calf Appeal’ by farmers, business people, schools and community groups across the country.

If you would like to donate a dairy calf to Bóthar please contact Dave Moloney, Bóthar on Freephone 1800 268 463 or email dave@bothar.ie

The Spring Calf Appeal will run until 30th April 2015.