Margarita was taken away from her mother at just a few days old and was destined for the slaughterhouse.
But instead, she was given a new lease of life after being presented as a gift to a family in Tortosa, in Spain’s Catalonia region, who lovingly reared her by hand.
However, now aged four the cow, who is a from a breed of bovine used in bullfighting, could be up for the chop for a second time thanks to bizarre EU rules according to The Local.
Margarita the cow won the hearts of her neighbours in Spain
Growing up in a field at the edge of town for four years, Margarita quickly became a sensation in the town.
Passing neighbours frequently stopped to feed her treats and given her a quick stroke, or even smother her in hugs and kisses.
And she also proved to be a huge success with the town’s children – who call her "Sweet Margarita" thanks to her gentle nature.
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She’s an orphaned baby cow who has never harmed anyone or anything, and she has a death sentence because the authorities apply the law as if she belonged to a livestock farm
Animal rights group El Hogar ProVegan
But now her life is under threat thanks to EU rules that require all livestock to be traced through the food chain.
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Last week, it emerged her owners had not registered Margarita with the agricultural authorities.
And even though she is not intended to become meat, Catalan regional agriculture authorities claim they have no choice but to sacrifice the animal.
Margarita is a from a breed of bovine used in bullfighting
Her owner has been issued with an order to send her to the slaughterhouse along with being slapped with a steep fine for failure to meet conditions, designed to prevent bovine health issues such as mad cow disease.
But animal rights group El Hogar ProVegan have now stepped in – launching a change.org petition calling for authorities not to kill Margarita and instead allow her to live out her days in an animal sanctuary.
The group said: “She’s an orphaned baby cow who has never harmed anyone or anything, and she has a death sentence because the authorities apply the law as if she belonged to a livestock farm.”
The petition has already garnered more than 180,000 signatures ahead of the deadline for slaughter on Friday.