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Welsh Assembly defers slaughter of sacred bull

May 17, 2007 11:36 IST

Bowing to pressure from the Hindu community, the National Assembly of Wales has deferred its decision to slaughter Shambo, the sacred bull at a Hindu temple, which is suspected to have tuberculosis.

According to the Hindu Forum of Britain, the authorities, who were planning to slaughter the bull next week, have now delayed this action.

"They are still carefully considering what they concede to be a sensitive and unusual case," the forum, which spearheaded the movement against the proposed slaughter of the bull, said.

The temple hoped that this consideration would lead to a change of policy and change of practice.

Responding to the decision of the 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," he said.

Ishwer Tailor, president of the forum said, "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 will continue to take the necessary bio-security measures to protect animals and humans from harm," he said.

C B Patel, chair of the Patrons Council of the forum 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," he added.

President of the National Council of Hindu Temples, Sudarshan Bhatia, said, "The deferral of the decision to slaughter Shambo could mean that the Welsh Assembly is considering various options. We hope that the sensitiveness of the issue and the needs of the different communities can be carefully considered."

Other UK Hindu organisations that have given their support to Skanda Vale's campaign include the Hindu Council of Birmingham, Hindu Council of Brent, Hindu Council of Harrow, Hindu Council of the North, Leicester Festival Hindu Council, Hindu Council UK and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, UK.

H S Rao in London
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