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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Fresh call for Shambo's slaughter
Shambo the bullock
Shambo lives at the Skanda Vale temple in Carmarthenshire
A leading vet has made a new call for the slaughter of a "sacred" bullock which has TB because he says it poses a threat to both humans and animals.

Shambo has tested positive for bovine TB, but the multi-faith Skanda Vale Temple in Carmarthenshire, where he lives, wants to keep him alive.

Graham Brooks of the British Cattle Veterinary Association said Shambo was at risk of passing on the infection.

The Welsh Assembly Government has said there is "no timetable for slaughter".

The slaughter notice was issued on the six-year-old black Friesian nearly two weeks ago - shortly after he tested positive for bovine TB during routine screening.

Science says the animal should be destroyed
Graham Brooks, British Cattle Veterinary Association

The provisional date for slaughter had been set for Monday.

But monks at Skanda Vale at Llanpumsaint said killing Shambo would violate their religious principles and have mounted a campaign to save the animal.

An online petition has attracted more than 8,000 names and there is a video stream live from Shambo's pen in the temple.

Shambo's keepers claimed he was not proven to be a carrier of TB and said that even if it did develop "he can be expected to make a full recovery given appropriate care".

The temple's website said slaughter would be an "appalling desecration of life".

It added: "We could no more allow the slaughter of Shambo than we could the killing of a human being."

Final decision

But according to Mr Brooks, president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association - the cattle division of the British Veterinary Association - the risk of passing on infection increased the longer Shambo remained alive.

Earlier this month, Mr Brooks, said Shambo "must be removed from the cattle population".

He has now said that because Shambo comes into regular contact with humans, there is a threat of animal-to-human infection.

"Science says the animal should be destroyed," said Mr Brooks.

The final decision on the bullock's fate rests with the assembly government, which said its policy "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."

It said it was "continuing to assess all the issues surrounding this very sensitive case," and there was "currently no timetable for the slaughter of the bullock, though the slaughter notice remains in force."




SEE ALSO
'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
Slaughter fight for 'sacred' bull
09 May 07 |  South West Wales

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