Shambo the bull gets a reprieve
May 17, 2007 - 8:57:43 AM

London, May 17 - The National Assembly of Wales, that had issued a slaughter notice on a tuberculosis-infected sacred bull in a Hindu temple, has deferred its implementation amidst widening interest and support for Shambo, the bull.

Hindu groups in Britain had threatened to form a human chain comprising thousands of Hindus from all over the country to prevent the animal's slaughter.

Representatives of the Skanda Vale Temple in Llanpumpsaint, near Carmarthen, say that they have received increased support from Hindus from across the globe after a webcam was installed to monitor Shambo's movements online.

The slaughter notice was earlier expected to be carried out next week, but in view of the sensitivity of the issue, the Welsh authorities have decided to defer the action to give it careful consideration. Temple authorities hope that this will lead to a change of policy and practice.

Responding to the decision by the Welsh Assembly, Swami Suryananda of the Skanda Vale Temple said: 'We are encouraged by the response of the authorities to defer their decision on the future of Shambo.

'To consider killing as a solution is not an option and we would hope the threat of slaughter could be removed so that we can establish constructive dialogue with the Assembly to find a practical solution that upholds the highest values of the Hindu faith but also meets the health and safety requirements.

Ishwer Tailor, president of the Hindu Forum of Britain added, 'The campaign to save Shambo has received considerable support from people of different faiths in the UK and, around the world.

'It is important that we continue to request the Welsh Assembly to remove the slaughter notice that is hanging over Shambo. In the meantime the temple we will continue to take the necessary bio-security measures to protect animals and humans from harm.'

C.B. Patel, chair of the Patrons Council of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: 'There is still a lot of concern among the community, but the Assembly's decision to respond sensitively to this unusual case is heartening.

'We would suggest other diagnostic tests are conducted to ascertain if infection is actually present and, if so, identify the area infected and treat accordingly with medication.'

Earlier, an assembly government spokesman said: 'Wales, in common with many other countries, implements a control policy, based on testing and the slaughter of animals believed to be infected, in order to protect both human and animal health.

'We fully understand that this can be distressing for the owners, but these measures are in place to protect public health and animal health and prevent the further spread of the disease.'

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