Thursday, 26 July 2007
Sivananda serves the needs of over 500 people. For the able-bodied, their are new skills to learn and the pride in having the products of their work sold to local authorities and local hospitals. For older people, there is a supported community to live out their lives in peace and dignity.
There are also children at Sivananda, who attend the school. They are orphans or the children of adults who live at Sivanada.
Sivananda is also a research centre, with facilities as good as anywhere in the world, where research is carried out on the repair of damaged limbs.
Sivananda Rehabilitation Home
Sivananda On YouTube
In my opinion, there are good reasons for Shambo being an exception. Firstly, the animals at Skanda Vale will never enter the food chain. Skanda Vale is not a farm. It is spiritual community, run by Hindu monks. Secondly, Shambo is a sacred temple bullock and therefore has great spiritual significance to the community at Skanda Vale. To devout Hindus all life is sacred. Attempts to save Shambo have sadly failed. Here is the timeline for the story.
27 April 2007: The six-year-old black Friesian tests positive for bovine TB during a routine screening. It begins living away from the community's 50-strong herd.
5 May 2007: Hindu monks at Skanda Vale are given notification that veterinary officials will slaughter Shambo by 21 May.
9 May 2007: An appeal is launched by the monks to prevent the proposed slaughter of Shambo. They say that all life is sacred and begin an online petition and mount a legal challenge against the killing.
11 May 2007: Senior vets from the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) call for the monks to obey the law and allow the bullock to be slaughtered to ensure the disease does not spread.
14 May 2007: The National Farmers' Union (NFU) Cymru says exceptions could not be made for Shambo, and that while they had sympathy, the animal should be put down.
19 May 2007: Leading vet Graham Brooks of the BCVA adds his voice to calls for Shambo to be killed saying the longer the bullock remained alive, the greater the risk any infection could be passed on.
7 June 2007: Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Conservatives all call for Shambo to be put down and say new rural development minister Jane Davidson should take action.
26 June 2007: Ms Davidson says she is "minded" to proceed with the slaughter order. The Hindu Council UK expresses regret at the decision but says it could be time to "let go".
29 June 2007: Lawyers for Shambo's owners make a last-ditch legal appeal under human rights laws to halt its destruction. They also outline how monks would further test, isolate and treat Shambo.
3 July 2007: Ms Davidson announces that Shambo will be slaughtered but allows the monks time to launch an application for a judicial review.
12 July 2007: Lawyers for Shambo's owners argue in court for a reprieve for the bullock, saying that it would breach article nine of the Human Rights Convention on religious freedom.
16 July 2007: High court judge, His Honour Judge Gary Hickinbottom, quashes the slaughter notice, ruling the decisions of 3 May and 3 July to issue the slaughter notice and to pursue it were unlawful. The Welsh Assembly Government appeals.
23 July 2007: The Court of Appeal overturns Judge Gary Hickinbottom's ruling after an appeal by the Welsh Assembly Government. It says it wants to act with "the minimum of distress to the animal and its carers".
24 July 2007: Brother Alex, a senior monk at Skanda Vale, concedes the religious community is "pretty much at the end of the road" in their legal fight.
25 July 2007: The monks announce they have been told Shambo will be taken away for slaughter at 8am the next day.26 July 2007: Supporters from around the UK and abroad join the monks in staging a pooja religious ceremony as vets arrive to take Shambo for slaughter. But the officials are refused entry and must return later with a magistrates' warrant.
At just after 7pm, BST, the news is that Welsh Assembly vets returned with a warrant, the protestors have been removed and Shambo is being loaded into a van.
The routine test which showed Shambo as positive for bovine TB is, apparently notoriously inaccurate. Even a test by an independent vet, which showed that Shambo was in good health did not sway the Welsh Assembly.
It is a very sad day for me, for Skanda Vale and its monks who are dedicated to the sanctity of all life and for anyone who is interested in the rights of an animal like Shambo to live out his natural life in peace and safety in a natural and caring environment.
The Welsh Assembly vets and the police have desecrated a Hindu Temple to take Shambo away to be slaughtered.