The sight of a donkey watching EastEnders and drinking tea in a Dungannon living room has become a more common occurance after it emerged that the “bedroom tax” will apply to housing benefit law in Northern Ireland from February 2017.
The range of ultra-domesticated animals in the greater Dungannon area include cattle (bulls and cows), sheep, goats, pigs and even horses. A Housing Benefit assessor explained the unusual scene he was met with when he paid a visit to a NI Housing Executive tenant in the town at the weekend:
“I should have been alerted by the noise and smell but just thought the TV was up loud and maybe the toilets were broken. On passing the living room window, I witnessed what could only be described as a goat vacuuming the room with an apron on it. And it stays in the spare bedroom apparently.”
Legislation currently fails to rule out adopting an animal as a dependent, preventing the payment of bedroom tax. The loophole cannot be fixed for 12 months due to the imminent Stormont collapse, resulting in thousands of housing association dwellers in Dungannon taking in 4-legged family members.
“It’s a bigger scam than the RHI debacle. These townspeople don’t know how to handle large animals. I visited a house outside the town and a donkey had dunged all over the stairs. Is it really worth that for a few pounds onto your rent a month?”
Owners have been warned about keeping bulls in houses joined onto other houses with cows as residents. Two such dwellings were wrecked last week after the bull bored a hole from one house to the other to get to the cow.
A Ballycairn Tiergan bull has become the first victim of new draconian cattle laws which forbids various shows of indecency ranging from rampant defecation in public to open displays of romance.
The new ruling, introduced by the DUP’s Pastor William McGrin who retained his position last year as Minister for Standards and Decency, has come under fire in recent weeks for being obsolete as no beast had been convicted since its introduction.
However, PSNI officials confirmed that at 3:45pm today, a bull from Eskra was arrested for mounting three cows in the space of two hours in a field beside the local primary school.
Chief Constable Patrick Talbot confirmed:
“Today we received reports of a Tiergan bull indulging in lewd behaviour in full view of 150 schoolchildren as well as several elderly teachers who were treated for shock. On arrival, the bull continued to show no sign of control and continued to trouble the cows who just seemed to be interested in the grass. He also brazenly dunged when arrested.”
The constable revealed that Barry the bull continued to show complete disregard for authority by defecating all over the police van as well as in the incident room where he refused to answer any questions and wrecked the table.
“This is just the start. Some of the behaviour in the fields is almost worse than the scenes outside Sallys or Strabane on a Saturday night. We’ll take no prisoners. There will be many more Barrys, mark my words.”
A new Cattle Finishing School has been set up in Garvaghey to help worried farmers train their livestock to behave in a more refined manner.
Local politicians and religious leaders have called for cool heads after a spike in cattle jealously has resulted in sporadic fights across the county in recent weeks.
Cows and bulls have become the new currency for young people to show off to their peers, replacing low-suspension twin cams or DM boots as a badge of potential popularity.
One such fight broke out in a field outside Pomeroy last week after a group of young men from Galbally repeatedly shouted “shit cows” at teenager walking around his land with four Charolais cows and a Saler bull. A brawl soon ensued with members of the young farmer’s family involved.
Independent councillor James Conlon admitted the levels of cattle envy is reaching epidemic proportions:
“You can’t walk the streets of Cookstown these days without tramping on cow-clap. Young men and women are using cattle as a fashion accessory. I’ve seen Friesians with pink cardigans or on skateboards. It’s out of control. Things spill over and the fights are unavoidable.”
Another major incident occurred outside Tattyreagh when two local women had to be separated after their respective cows were spotted sporting the same leg warmers as they made their way to Mass at the weekend. The accessories, bought in a cattle fashion shop recently opened in Omagh, were sold as a one-off limited edition to both buyers.
Eyewitness Gareth McCabe explained:
“It was probably one of the worst fights I’ve witnessed. Even the cattle were spooked and started going mad and leaping into the traffic and old women were screaming and yahooing. To be fair the Omagh shop shouldn’t have pulled a fast one like that. Limited edition means only one made. We all know that.”
PSNI officials have urged cattle-owners that cow rage will receive stiff penalties from September the 1st.
The 2013 Clogher Valley Agricultural show held yesterday has been labelled as the most controversial ever after a rise in cattle accessories was evident from the first adjudication of the Pedigree Aberdeen Angus Bull category. Matters took a turn for the surreal when a panto cow found itself at the wrong venue but still managed to take home Ayrshire Cow Derby derby crown.
Traditionalists were left shaking their heads when more than half of the Angus Bulls were seen sporting dreadlocks, comb-overs and all manner of fancy coiffures. Peter McMeel, a veteran of the show from 1922, says he’ll not be back:
“What in under God is going on in this country? It was bad enough seeing the older bulls with side-partings and mohicans, but the bull calves were at it too. The Aberdeen Angus Bull Calf that won had a comb-over dreadlock. For the love of God. What next, lipstick and mini-skirts on the Hereford Heifers?”
Older viewers were taken aback when the Pedigree Charolais Bull Calf category was won by a calf with a ‘scrunchie’ coupled with a plaited ponytail. McMeel added:
“I’m not a stuffy character who is resistant to change. But, for jaysus sake, what is this competition all about then? It has turned into the way Irish Dancing is now. There’s talk that the winning Pedigree Limousin Heifer born in 2011 was wearing stockings. There was some crowd of oul lads gathering to watch that one”.
The day ended in controversy when two lads who were appearing as a panto cow in a play in Augher took a wrong turn and ended up winning Ayrshire Derby. An enquiry has been launched by the International Cattle Judging Committee after ‘peculiar betting trends’ were noticed in a Dungannon bookmaker with heavy bets of up to £20 placed on the actors to win the derby.