Shambo lives to fight another day

In a major victory for Hindus, a court overturns the Govt's decision to slaughter the sacred bull, reports Vijay Dutt.
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Updated on Jul 17, 2007 12:38 AM IST
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Agencies | ByVijay Dutt, London

In a major victory for Hindu groups in Britain, a British court on Monday overturned the Welsh government's decision to slaughter the sacred bull Shambo.

Shambo belongs to the Skanda Vale temple at Carmarthenshire in Wales and had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Under British law, animals which contract infectious diseases have to be killed.

In a 52 page judgement, Justice Hickinbottom said, "The risk to humans (from the infected bull) is particularly small and can easily be treated by antibiotics. The risk to other animals can be prevented by testing, isolation and treatment measures."

He noted that Hindus would have taken Shambo's killing as seriously as the killing of a human being. Hickinbottom added that the government will have to "reconsider the public health objectives that underlie its surveillance and slaughter policy, and come to a view as to whether, the slaughter of this animal would be proportional given the serious infringement of the community's rights that the slaughter would involve."

Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), an umbrella organisation of 285 Hindu group and temples, which was one of the petitioners against the Welsh Government slaughter order, speaking to HT said, " It’s a very bold, strong and historic judgement which has taken into consideration that the slaughter would have been a gross infringement of our right of worship.

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