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Monks win time for sacred bull; FARM & COUNTRY.

Byline: By LAUREN TURNER

MONKS at a Hindu temple were last night celebrating a temporary reprieve granted to a sacred bull on death row.

The Welsh Assembly Government had been expected to take steps to slaughter Shambo, of the Skanda Vale Temple in West Wales, next week after he tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

But members of the small community in Llanpumsaint, who would consider the slaughter to be sacrilege, now hope the Welsh Assembly Government may have a change of heart and let the bull live.

Swami Suryananda, of the Skanda Vale Temple, said: "We are encouraged by the response of the authorities to defer their decision on the future of Shambo. To consider killing as a solution is not an option.

"We would hope the threat of slaughter could be removed so that we can establish constructive dialogue with the Assembly."

An Assembly Government spokeswoman said they were continuing to deal with the case in a "discreet and sensitive" way.

She said: "The policy of the Welsh Assembly Government, in common with many other countries, is that cattle who have tested positive for TB should be slaughtered to protect public health and animal health.

"The Welsh Assembly Government is continuing to assess all the issues surrounding this very sensitive case. There is currently no timetable for the slaughter of the bullock, though the slaughter notice remains."

Ishwer Tailor, president of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: "The campaign to save Shambo has received considerable support from people of different faiths in the UK and around the world.

"It is important that we continue to request the Welsh Assembly to remove the slaughter notice hanging over Shambo."

Sudarshan Bhatia, president of the National Council of Hindu Temples, said: "The deferral of the decision to slaughter Shambo could mean the Welsh Assembly is considering various options."

Yesterday monks said they had stepped up security at the site in a bid to protect Shambo. A webcam, nicknamed Moo Tube, has been set up to allow well-wishers to watch Shambo, who is in isolation.

farming@dailypost.co.uk
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 17, 2007
Words:346
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