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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Two temple animals face slaughter
Shambo tested positive in April for exposure to bovine TB
Two more animals are to be put down at a religious community where Shambo, the temple bullock, was slaughtered after testing positive for bovine TB.

The Welsh Assembly Government has ordered the removal of a young water buffalo and a bullock from Skanda Vale in rural Carmarthenshire on Thursday.

Shambo was killed by lethal injection in July after a long-running legal challenge by monks living there failed.

Tests were later carried out on five more animals at the community.

Brother Alex, of Skanda Vale, says there would be no repeat of the ceremony which took place when Shambo was taken away for slaughter.

He told BBC Radio Wales that he did not expect inspectors to be obstructed on Thursday morning.

Wales's rural affairs minister Elin Jones said: "Formal notices have been issued to the community at Skanda Vale for two more bovines at the community to be put down to bring the outbreak of bovine TB there under control."

The move has been welcomed by farming unions.

Farmers' Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan said: "This proves that what has happened at Skanda Vale has followed a classic trend of TB transmission with an initial infection apparently spreading to other animals.

For the same reasons these two animals must also be treated as required by the law
Gareth Vaughan, FUW

"The Welsh Assembly Government, backed by the FUW, have already upheld the law regarding Shambo.

"The post mortem on that animal showed that the Assembly's action was appropriate because the animal represented a major risk in terms of disease transmission in humans and animals.

"The risk appears to be no different in the two latest cases. For the same reasons these two animals must also be treated as required by the law."

Sanctity of life

The fate of Shambo became the focus of worldwide attention for months after it tested positive for bovine TB in April.

It culminated on 26 July when supporters from around the UK and overseas joined a religious ceremony as officials, backed by police, took the bullock away to be put down.

The Skanda Vale community has a wide range of livestock including an elephant, ponies, water buffalo, cows, bulls, llama and deer.

Monks say they believe in the sanctity of all life and oppose the slaughter.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's announcement, Brother Simon of Skanda Vale said the community wanted a "constructive dialogue" with the assembly government.

"At the very minimum they should re-test [animals which are] positive reactors.

"We believe in the sanctity of all life and we are against slaughter.

"We still firmly believe that if animals are isolated and given a course of antibiotics they can be cured."

In pictures: Shambo stand-off
26 Jul 07 |  In Pictures
Timeline: Shambo
12 Jul 07 |  Wales
Anxious wait at Shambo's temple
12 Jul 07 |  South West Wales


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