The chief veterinary officer (CVO) for Northern Ireland is to live below the poverty line for five days for charity.

Robert Huey, who works in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, is to take part in the 2014 Live Below the Line Challenge, where he will eat on just £1 per day for the duration of the event.

Mr Huey – who is also a vice-president of the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe – is taking part in the challenge to raise money for the “Send a Cow” initiative, which helps poverty-stricken families in Africa grow enough food to feed themselves. The aim is for the CVO to experience what it is like for the 1.2 billion people in the world “living below the line” every day.

Mr Huey said he was asked to join the challenge by the junior vice-president of the North of Ireland Veterinary Association Simon Doherty, who is also an ambassador for Send a Cow.

“Simon visited Ethiopia in November 2013 and saw first hand the impact that Send a Cow has in changing lives in Africa,” said Mr Huey.

“With a week to go until I start the challenge, I still need to work out exactly how I’m going to stretch the £5 budget out over five days, but I would ask everyone to look up the Live Below the Line website and please give generously.

“With the Department for International Development match-funding that Send A Cow have in place as part of their appeal, many more lives can be changed through our efforts,” he said.

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