Animal Law

New Death Sentence for UK Holy Cow

Spared from slaughter by a court ruling last week, a holy bull revered by a Hindu community in Wales received a new death sentence today from an appellate panel.

The case has pitted religious rights recognized by the European Union against concerns that Shambo, as the sacred bull is known, could spread bovine tuberculosis. Killing the bull, who has been exposed to the disease although he is currently healthy and isolated from other animals, would be “comparable to killing a human being” in the eyes of the community, their lawyer told the appellate panel. But it ruled that health concerns trumped, reports the London Times.

Initially condemned to death by the Welsh Assembly, the bull was subsequently spared after an appeal to the High Court in Cardiff, as discussed in an earlier post. That decision was hailed by the Hindu community as a religious milestone.

Today’s ruling was praised by an agricultural leader as the only fair way to resolve the case. “As a farmer I have every sympathy with anyone who has to have their livestock slaughtered due to bovine TB, however TB must be eradicated,” said Dai Davies, president of the National Farmers’ Union in Cymru. “[W}e can’t have exceptions to the rule. We all live in one country with one rule of law for all.”

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