Tuesday, August 21, 2007


(Updated 23/08)

The situation at the Skandavale sanctuary in West Wales, does not appear to be going away any time soon.

After the much publicised demise of Shambo, the sacred bullock, who proved positive for bovine tuberculosis, the sensitivety of previous test reactions was ratcheted down to include two more animals who, now assessed under ' severe interpretation', await slaughter at the Minister's pleasure.

But a further herd test last week has apparently revealed more problems.
ic Wales , the internet based Welsh news company reported that four water buffalo and a cow gave an inconclusive result to last week's test.

The sanctuary is also home to several goats, deer and an elephant.

At what stage of an unresolving bTb outbreak we wonder, would the ISG's proposal for whole herd slaughter, which we discussed in the posting below, be initiated?
We aren't supporting this option in any way, but on the table for discussion, it most certainly is.

After delays in serving slaughter notices due to FMD standstills, the two animals now in reactor status at the Skandavale 'sanctuary' have been slaughtered.

Under a headline 'More Hindu cattle to be slaughtered", Farmers Weekly describes the animals in question as a yearling water buffalo and "a 16-year-old Jersey bullock, which has been unable to stand for a year".

There are times when words fail me.

Matt 5


phb said...

You feel unable to comment on a 16 year old jersey bullock that has been unable to stand for a year and tested as a reactor.
I am quite happy to call for their prosecution on welfare grounds if that was you or I in such a situation "they " would be down on us like a ton of bricks. I had heard from a vet that" he had had dealings with them and their welfare abilities" but this beggars belief

Matthew said...

phb - From FWi, here's more from the Skandavale website:

"Bhakti was an elderly jersey bullock. He had arthritis and difficulty walking. We cared for him for many years working with our veterinary surgeon to ensure that he had the necessary medication to manage his condition and that his quality of life was maintained to the highest standards. We would no more consider it acceptable to kill an elderly frail bullock than it would be to kill an elderly frail gentlemen.
Our oldest cow, Gauri, is twenty one years old and Mooki, our oldest bullock, is 15 years old. Gauri’s teeth are worn down because of her age so she is fed a special mix of sugar beet, maize bran and alfalfa grass. Mooki can stand up, but because of arthritis he cannot walk more than a few steps. He is comfortable on one side only, and if he sits down in the wrong position the monks have to turn him over to his more comfortable side. This manoeuvre takes four monks and needs to be done five times a day."

Most of us have had a 'downer' at one time or another, and have given effort and time - often quite a lot of both - to getting the casualty up on 4 feet again.
But this is damn cruelty. There is no possibility of 15 year old jersey bullocks getting hip replacements or new knee joints. Arthritis is very painful, progressive and 24/7 pain relief is difficult when an animal can't tell you where the pain is. And these animals are enduring this for twelve months and more? Because they are 'sacred'?
In this instance one must question whether man-made anthropomorphic dogma has overtaken humanity and welfare.
And yes, you are right. A Church of England, Methodist or Non-conformist cattle farmer would be prosecuted.

Matthew said...

From DJBD, a comment on this posting. Mainly re the 'veterinary treatment' this 16 year old jersey cross steer - a downer for 12 months due to arthritis - was subjected to, prior to his Tb test.

"I wonder, was the recumbent steer probably / (without doubt(?)) treated with anti inflammatories?
These would interfere with the tuberculin test - it would be far less sensitive.
Was Shambo bTB or human TB??
Time will tell. Even prayers won't save the Monks!"