Battle Of Shambo: Hindus Try To Prevent Slaughter Of Bull

UK - An explosive cultural stand-off between the Government and Britain's Hindu community is looming in the formidable shape of a six-year-old black Friesian bull named Shambo.
calendar icon 10 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Shambo faces slaughter

Hindus from around the country are threatening to form a human chain to prevent the slaughter of the animal, which they regard as sacred, after it tested positive for tuberculosis.

Furthermore, they say that if serious attempts are made to kill Shambo, who forms part of a herd kept by the Skandavale Temple in Llanpumsaint, Carmarthen, south west Wales, Hindus from all around the world will converge on the temple to stop what they see as a religious desecration.

Yet the Welsh Assembly says that no exemptions can be made to the national policy of slaughtering animals testing positive for bovine TB, and does not accept that slaughtering Shambo would be an infringement of the religious rights of the community that owns him.

The looming conflict looks impossible to resolve to the satisfaction of all concerned. On the one hand, bovine TB, which is becoming increasingly common in the national cattle herd, is currently regarded as the most alarming animal health problem facing Britain, and slaughter of infected animals is regarded as essential. (Arguments continue to rage about how much of the spread of the disease is due to the wild badger population.)

On the other hand, cows and cattle are considered sacred to Hindus, who respect them as generous, almost maternal animals. Most of the world's billion or so Hindus do not eat beef, and the slaughter of cattle is legally banned in most of the states of India.

Yesterday, Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), which represents the 700,000 Hindus in the UK, said that killing a sacred temple cow or bull was considered to be "highly sacrilegious" and unacceptable. If necessary the Hindu community would form a human chain to prevent it.

Source: Independent

For more information on Bovine Tuberculosis, click here.

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