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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 05:41 GMT 06:41 UK
Legal appeal for 'sacred' bullock
Shambo the bullock
An online petition to save Shambo has thousands of names
Monks hoping to save a "sacred" bullock called Shambo which has tested positive for bovine TB have made a last-ditch plea to halt a slaughter order.

Lawyers for a Carmarthenshire-based Hindu group have set out the monks' legal case under human rights laws.

Rural minister Jane Davidson said on Tuesday she was "minded" to go ahead, giving them until Friday to respond to the Welsh Assembly Government.

They have also given details on how Shambo would be isolated and treated.

It is two months since the six-year-old black Friesian tested positive for bovine TB during a routine screening.

Under control measures, slaughter is carried out to protect human and animal health.

Shambo belongs to Hindus at the multi-faith Skanda Vale community at Llanpumsaint, which embraces all faiths and includes three Hindu shrines.

We hope even at this juncture his life might be saved but, if he is slaughtered his soul will live on
Hindu Council UK

Brother Michael said its solicitors had now written to Ms Davidson to set out their position "in relation to the Human Rights Act".

"And we have sent a detailed set of proposals on a simple systematic approach of how we would further test, isolate and treat Shambo," he said.

"We are hopeful the minister will take time to look at what the solicitors have laid out and realise we are outside the farming model - none of our animals enter the food chain."

He added that, if the slaughter order remained, the monks would "seek an injunction to prevent enforcement of the slaughter notice then take it to an urgent judicial review in High Court".

"We hope a jury would not be swayed by the sense of political consideration and pressure from lobbies which the minister's decision has been influenced by," he said.

Brother Michael added he was not keen on mass demonstrations, but we encourage pilgrims to visit the centre for a continual vigil.

"It is about the right to worship god and sanctity of life," he said.

Support

An assembly government spokesman said Ms Davidson would make her decision "as soon as possible" after any representations were received.

"We are subject to a legal process and it is not possible to speculate on what, or when, further steps may be taken," added the spokesperson.

The Hindu Council UK said if the temple did take legal action, it would support them in that.

"We hope even at this juncture his life might be saved but, if he is slaughtered his soul will live on and we will know we did everything we could."

An online petition has attracted 17,600 names and a video stream has been broadcast live from Shambo's pen in the temple.




SEE ALSO
Shambo 'likely to face slaughter'
26 Jun 07 |  South West Wales
Fresh call for Shambo's slaughter
19 May 07 |  South West Wales
'No timetable' for Shambo's death
16 May 07 |  South West Wales
Farmers' worries if Shambo spared
14 May 07 |  South West Wales
Top vet's visit to 'sacred' bull
11 May 07 |  South West Wales
Slaughter call over 'sacred' bull
11 May 07 |  South West Wales

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