The Fellowship of Life
8 May 2007 - The Hindu Forum of Britain has called for David Miliband, the Secretary of State for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to immediately intervene and stop a slaughter notice issued by his Department on a sacred bull in a Hindu temple in the UK.
The sacred bull called Shambo tested positive to a routine Bovine Tuberculosis test at the Skandavale Temple in Llanpumsaint, Carmarthen, Wales. The HFB has called for Hindus to form a human chain around the temple, where the bull has been placed in isolation, to prevent the local authorities from killing the sacred animal.
Hindus respect the sanctity of all life, and the killing of cows and bulls is against their religious principles. Killing a sacred temple cow or bull is considered to be highly sacrilegious and unacceptable in the way Hindus practise their faith.
The current policy of DEFRA is to kill any animal suspected of carrying Bovine TB.
Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: "Shambo is in a very healthy condition. If TB does develop in him, given appropriate care he can be expected to make a full recovery. As a responsible organisation, the temple has sought professional veterinary advice to ensure that robust measures are taken to isolate Shambo and minimise the spread of disease. Killing Shambo will violate our faith tradition and desecrate our temple. It goes against all accepted norms of our faith."
Speaking about the concerns of the temple community, Swami Suryananda of the Skandavale Temple added: "We understand and appreciate DEFRAs position with regards to public health and containing the spread of bovine TB. We have been advised that there is provision both within the Animal Health Act 1981 and the more recent TB Order Wales 2006 for permission to treat and vaccinate any animal identified as having TB with the prior consent of the minister for the national Assembly of Wales."
On 3 May, the National Assembly for Wales issued a Notice of intended slaughter with a deadline of 14 May. In the meantime, Shambo has been isolated from other bovines and from contact with the public in a specially constructed shrine within the main Temple.
HFB has asked for Hindus around the country to send a letter of protest to DEFRA and the National Assembly for Wales.
Other Hindu organisations that support the campaign to save the sacred bull include the National Council of Hindu Temples UK, Hindu Council of the North, Hindu Council of Birmingham, Leicester Hindu Festival Council, Hindu Council of Brent, Hindu Council of Harrow, Hindu Human Rights, World Hindu Federation and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK.
Hindus are also being urged to sign an online petition or follow the link from the temple's website www.skandavale.org.
(Article from http://www.hinduforum.org/Default.aspx?sID=45&cID=174&ctID=11&lID=0" )
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