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London - When a butcher talks lovingly about lamb, it is usually about to be chopped up.

But for Sean Landy, eight-week-old Lily is one lamb who isn’t heading for a dinner plate.

The 41-year-old, who also runs a beef and sheep farm, saved the abandoned newborn and adopted her as his pet. He has spent £400 (about R7200) on vet bills and Lily is living in his kitchen with his sheepdogs while she recovers from a broken leg.

However, she has grown so used to life inside the farmhouse that she is reluctant to join Mr Landy’s flock whenever he tries to introduce her.

Instead, Lily follows Mr Landy around the house or out on the farm, when he is not behind the counter at his shop in Audley, Staffordshire.

On Sunday Mr Landy said: "I may be a butcher but I’m not heartless, and this is part of what we do. We respect life. I’m really pleased that I did it. Lily is so lovely."

"She thinks she’s a dog because she’s spent so much time with them. She’s used to the warmth and company in the kitchen and I can’t blame her."

At the end of July a customer came into the store to tell him they had seen a lamb in distress.

Mr Landy closed the shop to search for Lily, finding her trapped in a brook. He gave her some milk and took her to the vet for treatment for her leg, and now she is building up her strength and learning to walk.

"Eventually she will have to go outside, because I can’t keep her around the house forever," he said.

"But right now I’m happy having her around, and she’s definitely not going to end up in the shop."