Two More Sacred Bulls of Welsh to Be Slaughtered for Bovine TB

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 23 2007 5:57 PM

Hindu community leaders and monks in the West Welsh village of Skanda Vale in Carmathenshire have been told that two more animals -- a bull and a water buffalo -- have tested positive for bovine TB, and would have to be slaughtered.

According to The Mirror, the Hindu leaders accused the officials of trying to avoid bad publicity by giving such short notice. They were also told that more tests will be done on the 54-strong temple herd over the next two months.

A twenty-year-old bull named Bhakti and an eight-month-old water buffalo named Dakshini tested positive for tuberculosis last month.

In July, attempts by government vets to remove Shambo for slaughter resulted in an all-day stand-off during which monks had to be dragged clear by police as they prayed, and the authorities are desperate to avoid a repeat. Shambo was eventually slaughtered earlier this month.

The community has a menagerie, including an elephant, ten ponies, 13 water buffalo, 12 goats, 40 cows and bulls, two llamas, 20 deer, about 300 poultry and waterfowl, more than 100 fish, five terrapins and more than 20 rabbits.

Apart from the deer, only the cows and water buffalo are thought to be susceptible to bovine tuberculosis.

A further five animals produced results classed as inconclusive, but there are fears that when the entire herd undergo compulsory retests next month, more will have become infected.

A spokesman for the temple said: "We are hoping the Welsh Assembly take a co-operative approach so that we do not get the same outcome as with Shambo."

The monks argue that instead of being slaughtered, infected animals could be kept in isolation or sent to a cow sanctuary in India.