The grass is certainly greener for these cows as they head to their retirement in Hillside animal sanctuary in Norfolk. Jill Smith from Carrigaline in Cork, made the decision to coincide with her own retirement and its believed to be the first time for a dairy farm in Ireland. Over half her 70 strong herd have now left with the remainder set to follow soon.

With the help of Charlies Equine Rescue in Co Wexford, a crowdfunding page on gofundme was set up to fund the project and this exceeded its expect target. Assistance was also provided by musician Sharon Shannon, who appealed for donations after playing to the livestock.

In a time when too often animals are just a commodity with a number and when their usefulness is over they are slaughtered this retiring farmer decided to allow her herd to remain together. Jill Smith showed her appreciation for the years of service each animal has given her and in return she has given them a kind of freedom, a freedom to live out their remaining years in peace.

She said: “They gave me a life, and I wanted the end of theirs to be peaceful”

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