Hindu community in Britain fights to save sacred bull
May 10, 2007 - 3:04:32 PM

London, May 10 - The Hindu community in Britain has launched a spirited fight to save a sacred bull from slaughter, which has tested positive for tuberculosis.

The bull, Shambo, lives in a shrine in Llanpumsaint, Carmarthenshire, in Wales, where officials at the Skanda Vale Temple have said the killing of cows and bulls is against their religious principles.

But the regional government of Wales has insisted that infected animals have to be slaughtered to 'protect both human and animal health.'

Shambo tested positive in routine bovine TB screening and was placed in isolation.

Agriculture officials intend to start discussing whether to slaughter the six-year-old British Friesian on May 14, but the temple is mounting a legal challenge and has begun an online petition to save Shambo.

Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain, which represents Hindus, said the rest of the herd of 35 cows and bulls were 'absolutely fine.'

'As a responsible organization, the temple has sought professional veterinary advice to ensure that robust measures are taken to isolate Shambo and minimize the spread of disease.

'Killing Shambo will violate our faith, tradition and desecrate our temple. It goes against all accepted norms of our faith,' said Kallidai.

Skanda Vale Temple, known as the Community of the Many Names of God is a multi-denominational monastic centre, which embraces all religious faiths and includes three Hindu shrines.

It attracts over 90,000 pilgrims every year. Its owners have called upon people to form a 'human chain' to save Shambo.

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