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UK charity sued over killing of cow

Hindu leaders and monks have served legal papers to a UK charity for trespassing when they put down temple’s sacred cow Gangotri, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Mar 30, 2008 02:58 IST
Vijay Dutt

Hindu leaders and monks, angered by Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) slaughter of its sacred cow, have served legal papers for trespassing when they put down temple’s sacred cow Gangotri on December 13, 2007.

Campaigners from the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hindu temple in Hertfordshire claimed that the “mercy killing” was illegal and took place while monks were at worship. The charity was in negotiations with the temple for weeks over the slaughter of the 13-year-old cow because it had a broken leg and had bedsores.

The move has been endorsed by most major Hindu organisations. This unprecedented act of serving a legal notice to the RSPCA headquarters in West Sussex has surprised the authorities.

Gauri Das, President of Bhaktivedanta Manor, who led the team of monks serving the legal notice told HT that “The Hindu community in Britain is appalled by the lack of integrity in their behaviour. … No compensation will be adequate to address the loss of Gangotri, whose life was taken through deception and damaged the feelings of our faith community.”

Das added, “Qualified vets who were caring for Gangotri never thought she should be killed. But what is shocking is that the RSPCA, without any form of apology or remorse, now suddenly started writing to Hindu community leaders inviting them for a round table meeting.”

The agitation has been going on since December. There were protests outside the RSPCA’s headquarters on December, 26 and another demonstration took outside Parliament Square and the DEFRA offices on February 13.

Last year, Shambo, a bull kept at Skanda Vale religious community near Carmarthen made headlines when he was slaughtered in July after testing positive for bovine TB. Two other animals from the same temple were also put down soon after Shambo’s death.