Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sacred cows?

... or in this case, bull called SHAMBO .To be more precise a Hindu bull no less, living in Carmarthan and part of a monastic community, dedicating their lives to following karma yoga and bhakta yoga. Their bull has had a positive skin test, and must be slaughtered say Defra.

So, hard on the heels of the $million dollar cow (ROXY), dear old Defra look like having to take on the Race Relations Board, not to mention the governments of India and Nepal and various Hindu communities across the UK, who are flocking to protect this sacred bull.

The following communication has just arrived, in fact it arrived from 3 separate sources. That said, we cannot vouch for its accuracy:

"I am writing on behalf of Skanda Vale Temple seeking your urgent assistance in helping the Temple save the life of one of our bulls, Shambo. He is currently threatened with slaughter on May 14, 2007, by the government organization DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

The reason for this is that he has reacted positive to a bovine test for tuberculosis. It is government policy to kill all 'reactor animals' who so test positive. The test is not 100% accurate, and he is currently a very healthy animal.
None of the rest of our herd of 40 cattle and water buffalo is infected. We have three temples at our monastery, Sri Ranganatha Temple, Maha Kali Temple and Lord Subramanium Temple. We embrace Sanatana Dharma. The 25 residents of the monastic community live in service to life following karma yoga and bhakta yoga. We have approximately 90,000 pilgrims visit a year and are committed to worshiping Almighty God in his Universality.

"We have engaged solicitors to seek an urgent injunction to prevent the slaughter and have suggested a solution to DEFRA to address the concerns of animal and human health. They have refused to use the discretion they have under UK law not to slaughter. Under the Animal Health Act 1981 Section 34: 'The minister may, notwithstanding anything in this Act, reserve for observation and treatment an animal liable to be slaughtered under this Act at his direction.'

"We believe it would be an act of desecration of the Hindu religion if they were to slaughter a temple cow or bull. We have isolated Shambo and have made him a secure home inside an area of our main Subramanium Temple. He is, after all, Nandi, the vahana of Lord Siva. Lord Subramanium as commander of the heavenly forces is the Shakti of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. We need the assistance of Hindu organizations to put urgent pressure to find a solution. Maybe the government of India or Nepal could help. We require assistance. Time is short."



Anonymous said...

It so happens that we now have a 'temple' on our farm dedicated to all our cows and bulls! We have had a few funny looks from the 'girls' wondering why we all walk around chanting and wearing funny clothes that drag in the poo.
The girls are getting used to Hindi, and we are getting up to date on Hinduism, as this culture worships several gods,we are having difficulty in having to worship 'DEFRA' as they have put themselves up to be worshiped from afar on the TB debacle.

Anonymous said...

I thought that badgers had become the new sacred cows.

Matthew said...

When we first posted this one, we added the rider that we couldn't vouch for it, but it was featured on the BBC midday news - so it must be accurate.

We suggested to our co editor that the cattle sheds register as temples, so that sanctuary could be claimed - but he, like our first commentator pointed out that we would have to convert too.

To our second commentator, yup you're right. Cult status and a grade 1 listing on his ancestral home.

We could almost feel sorry for Defra with this one.
Almost, but not quite.

George said...

Unfortunately, there is every chance that an animal reacting to the tuberculin test has TB. Although the test is not 100% accurate – no biological test is 100% - it has proved to be pretty good at identifying infected cattle in practice. If a reactor is left on the farm (or in the temple in this case) and does have TB, then as time goes on the disease will probably affect the lungs. Once this happens, the TB bacteria have a route to the outside world; the case will become ‘open’. TB could then spread to animals or humans in the vicinity. With all those visitors a year, that would be a public health problem and a half.
Successful treatment of this disease is difficult even in humans, and is prohibited in cattle. The TB Order specifically prohibits this without the Ministers permission – and this is very unlikely to be given because of the high potential risk to public health. An expert in persuasion will be needed I feel!

Matthew said...

Hi George;

"An expert in persuasion"
Trevor Lawson?

Anonymous said...

Who is this Trevor Lawson?????

Anonymous said...

Trevor Lawson is the mouthpiece of the Badger Trust who has so far failed to tell us how closed herds with no bought in cattle and running on pastures frequented by badgers, have contracted bovine TB.

Matthew said...

Aaah, patron saint of badgers then?
The chap does seem to keep an eye on this blog though, so say it as it is folks. Those closed herds - with bTb. Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh I see what you mean , this Mr Trevor Lawson is a gobby sod who obviously is a badger in disguise!!! And by reading his comments knows nothing about either species as he just chooses to take one paragraph from something he has read and spins it just like the now redundant Alister Campbell! Wow he may get a job with our delightful Gordon Brown, who also has misled us all.Will call myself anonymous 1 to stop confusion.

Matthew said...

You could say the delightful, articulate and erudite Mr. Lawson has missed his calling. Then again if his latest effort is typical of the rabid circulations with which he feeds his groupies, then he probably is in the right place.

There will be a few who will actually read research work for themselves, ignoring the dumbing down or downright lies - say it as it is! - of lazy media hacks or politically motivated press officers. Taking half a sentence and turning it on its head, ignoring the bits of any report which causes the 'cause' indigestion, is pretty short term in our view. But as you say, Mr. L. has had some serious spin masters to follow.

He still avoids the question of bTb invading closed herds though.

And while 'Shambo' is an interesting figurehead, now attracting media attention from across the world, the owners of around 7000 herds and of some 30,000 equally 'valued' cattle who faced immediate slaughter after failing a skin test, would we suspect, like the same attention paid. Particularly to the cause of the problem should that prove to be that elusive but nevertheless increasing 'non-bovine source'.