Hindus across Britain have united in an attempt to save the life of Shambo, a sacred bull living at the Skanda Vale temple in Wales who is facing a death sentence at the hands of the Welsh assembly, having tested positive in a routine tuberculosis test.

Shambo, a six-year old Friesian who represents Lord Shiva’s bull, has the backing of the Hindu Council UK’s 600 member organisations and the Hindu Forum of Great Britain. Both groups have called on Hindus nationwide to write to their MPs, asking them in turn to back a House of Commons motion tabled by Andrew Dismore MP to save Shambo’s life.

Hindus, who believe all life is sacred and that all animals have an atman, or soul, cannot understand why Shambo, who is not destined to be part of the food chain and is being kept in his own, isolated sacred shrine at the temple, cannot be granted a reprieve. So far, 4,000 Hindus have signed an online petition opposing plans by the Welsh Assembly to slaughter Shambo before May 14th.

“We see absolutely no need for Shambo to be slaughtered,” says the Hindu Council’s General Secretary, Anil Bhanot.  “We understand it is possible to treat him should he go on to develop TB, which is by no means a certainty, and as the Hindu community will be more than willing to meet the cost of any medical treatment he receives, I feel strongly that all other avenues must be explored before Shambo is allowed to be killed as a last resort.  His murder will take away the rights of Hindus to worship in a manner prescribed in the Scriptures. Shambo has been part of the Temple sanctuary where prayer instils a spiritual meaning to its soul which the Temple devotees are at pains to protect. His death will be a great loss”.

Local vets and farmers, however, are urging the Welsh Assembly not to be swayed by pressure from the Hindu community. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Eifon Huws, vice-president of the Farmer’s Union of Wales said: “The Welsh farming community should not be held to ransom by minority interests. No-one, especially farmers, wants to see the slaughter of animals – but if there is one rule for us, there should be one rule for all.”
90,000 pilgrims visit the Skanda Vale temple annually. Cows and bulls are considered sacred by Hindus, who refrain from eating beef.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/11/nbull111.xml
http://www.skandavale.org/shambo.htm
www.hinducounciluk.org
 

 

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