Bovine Escapes from Slaughterhouse, Gets Pardoned by Governor

The saga of a white cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse just outside of Philadelphia on Saturday, June 18, continues.

The creature was being transported from the New Holland Auction to Madina Slaughterhouse in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania when she decided to make a break for her life.  The bovine roamed city streets for a half hour or so, until local police corralled the animal and returned her to Madina Slaughterhouse.  Reports from local residents indicate the bovine was in search of freedom.

Marianne Bessey, from Animal ACTivists of Philly lives nearby and has taken up the cause for this determined creature.  She spoke with an employee of the slaughterhouse who agreed to sell her the cow for $800.  She also sought out a sanctuary to take in this freedom-loving animal.

On Thursday morning last week, Bessey arrived at Madina Slaughterhouse with the money.  A truck from Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (WFAS) was already en route. But she was told the animal will not be sold to her. Although she was never given an explanation by the slaughterhouse employees, she found out later that the slaughterhouse did not have a license to sell live animals.  Kayli had been sold for slaughter so she had to be killed within 10 days of sale under Pennsylvania law.  Being an attorney, Bessey quickly filed a breach of contract suit in an attempt to prevent the bovine’s slaughter.

By this time, there were several articles about this bovine’s plight that hit the local news.  The cow — since named Kayli — is now a minor celebrity.  Governor Tom Corbett, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, agreed on Friday to spare the life of the white bovine by issuing a “pardon.”

As long as the animal remains in quarantine for two weeks and passes a physical examination, she will be sent to live out life at WFAS in New York.  And yes, that is Woodstock, New York where the famous Three Days of Peace & Music was held in August 1969.

“WFAS is driven by the simple philosophy that kindness and respect to animals is our moral duty and that all the creatures that share this earth are here with us and not for us. Like our faithful dogs and lap-sitting cats, farm animals are feeling individuals who deserve to be treated with compassion and to live free of fear and suffering,” reads part of the WFAS mission statement.

“Saving the bovine was achieved with the help of so many dedicated animal activists,” Bessey told me. “Not the least of which was Moein Khawaja.”  Khawaja, Executive Director of the Philadelphia chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations read about the cow’s flight and plight and decided to intervene.

He became the go-between of the Madina Slaughterhouse’s owner, animal activists and state officials on food safety.  Still not sure of the final outcome Friday morning, quoted him as saying “We’re all rooting for the cow. But this isn’t Disney.”  By Friday afternoon Bessey was searching for a place to keep Kayli in quarantine for the required two weeks.  ”Mr. Khawaja was instrumental in saving the bovine,” said Bessey.

So, how did the bovine save the chicken?

When the truck from WFAS arrived Thursday afternoon to pick up Kayli, Bessey and other animal activists who were at the slaughterhouse caught a glimpse of a chicken hiding nearby.  Bessey reports the chicken was leery of humans and gave great chase to all the people trying to rescue the little creature.

Once caught, the chicken slept quietly in the lap of workers all the way back to Woodstock.  Sanctuary and an opportunity to join the flock of 19 other chickens will also be offered to the spirited, feathered creature now named Philly.

Watch the video of the chicken, later named Philly, being caught by WFAS staff.


Related Story:

Justice Has Begun for Calves at E6 Cattle Ranch


William C
William Cabout a year ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

I wish they could all escape from the hell humans have created for them. The meat industry is a repulsive one with abuses galore. Thank you to the wonderful people who rescued and saved this sweet cow from her horrible fate!!!

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

Slaughterhouses could be made more humane but that would cost money. Big AG is greedy and will not put in new equipment. It's all about money, just like everything else. When money comes into anything, morals go out the window. There are no depths to which people won't stoop for a few bucks. That's the definition of morals in our society today.

Jackie D.
Jackie D6 years ago

Humans have created a terrible world for animals. Luckily there are some beautiful people in this world. I hope Kayli is saved.

Betty Ing
Past Member 6 years ago

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, more people would be vegetarians. And maybe the animals might actually be treated more humanely.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Thank you, Jeanne B. ... "going vegan ...". Nice story, lovely animal, but there are thousands, millions of animals being slaughtered every year, for us to EAT. Stop it. I was an animal eater before I became a vegetarian, so I know the taste of meat -- it doesn't take long to get over not eating meats/fish. The health benefits are great, but it is the knowing that I am not eating my fellow animals that makes my days happy. Just try it, eliminating one meat at a time. There are tons of books to educate you about different forms of animal protein (you'd be surprised how many vegetables also contain protein. This isn't just a soy diet -- I don't even eat soy), and how to season food tastefully. I'm NOT deprived.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin6 years ago

Why not let all the cows go? Or at least make slaughterhouses more humane.

Maegan Garcia
Maegan Garcia6 years ago

This is a wonderful story, and should be a lesson learned to people who think animals do not have feelings. I want to say thank you to all people involved in the miraculous rescue. Way to go!

Yvonne Hetherington

I wish all livestock on the way to slaughter houses could all escape.
If only that "Born Free" myth were true....