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“Hindu Community outraged at the killing of sacred cow in UK”


London, UK, December 14, 2007
Sudesh Gupta

Mr. Sudarshan Bhatia, president of The National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHT) told our senior representative that the our cow, named Gangotri was killed at the Bhaktivedanta Manor by the RSPCA . We told RSPCA that that cow was sick with few wounds but they insisted that the cow is suffering with disease.

Mr. Bhatia said:

  • We told RSPCA that the cow was was being cared for by Temple residents and visiting worshippers. First time we stoped them to kill her but second time RSPCA came with police force and gave her a lethal injection to put her down without our consent
  • Our concern is that RSPCA has no right to kill our sacred cow. They must had to proove that the cow was suffering with disease from court orders.

The RSPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) began in 1824 as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1822, Richard Martin MP piloted the first anti-cruelty bill giving cattle, horses and sheep a degree of protection through parliament.

As a charity will, by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of animals. The RSPCA intends to achieve its mission by effecting strong branch, regional, national and international organisations dedicated to providing a public service, delivering effective relief of animal suffering and enforcing the law. They reduce the harmful impact of human activities on animals through education, campaigning and the application of ethics, science and law. They are urging that, save where the public benefit requires, humankind should not intentionally cause suffering to any animal when it is not for its own benefit, or cause suffering by neglect. This applies whatever the animal, or the situation in which it finds itself. If you know about an animal that is injured or being treated cruelly, call the RSPCA's national 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

Also Read Email of Sanjay Jagatia, General Secretary of National Council of Hindu Temples UK

“Hindu Community outraged at the killing of sacred cow”

London, UK, 13th December 2007: The National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHT) is shocked and outraged after a cow was killed at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in Letchmore Heath, Watford - the largest Hindu Temple in Britain, while worshippers were at prayer.

The cow, named Gangotri, a 13 year-old Belgian Blue and Jersey cross, was killed at 9.00 am at the Bhaktivedanta Manor. The cow was sick but had no disease. She was being cared for by Temple residents and visiting worshippers.

NCHT understands that the Police ushered away monks who were in attendance of the sick cow, and the head farmer was kept talking, while a lethal injection was given to the cow.

Sanjay Jagatia, General Secretary of NCHT said “Cows are sacred to Hindus, and the killing of a cow is considered to be an outrageous act. The RSPCA had committed a serious infringement of the community’s right after giving a lethal injection to the cow. According to reports, the RSPCA had been given a warrant to gain access into the Manor and said that notifying members of the Temple prior to administering the injection would have been contrary to their aims”.

This is shocking and duplicitous behaviour" said Gauri Das, the head of the community. "We have been deceived by those who had given us their word. The killing was conducted despite personal assurances given the previous day from RSPCA officers and police that due to religious sensitivities no immediate action would be taken to kill the cow. It was for this reason that, the previous day, the RSPCA together with local Hertfordshire police, had visited the Temple and engaged in lengthy discussions with us. They expressed their sensitivities, and the police gave us their assurances that we would be given time to pursue a legal recourse."

The cow was sick but had no disease. She was being cared for by Temple residents and visiting worshippers, and was being administered pain relief.
Bhaktivedanta Manor, Letchmore Heath, Watford, runs 'The Cow Protection Project' and allows old cows and bulls to die naturally.

Head Farm Manager and former Royal Marine Stuart Coyle explained: "Gangotri was unable to walk, but due to her condition there was some tolerable discomfort".

Sudarshan Bhatia, President of NCHT concluded “we appeal to the Hindu community across the UK to show their support and raise their concerns of this despicable action by the Authorities. NCHT will be raising this issue on behalf of all the Hindu Temples across the UK, with the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP-Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, sympathetic MPs, the Head of DEFRA and the RSPCA”.

Sanjay Jagatia
0780 5054776



Why is the Cow Sacred to Hindus?

Hindu signs of respect, stands as a symbol of vegetarianism, humanity and nonviolence.

The cow was venerated as the mother goddess in the early Mediterranean civilizations. The cow became important in India, first in the Vedic period (1500 - 900 BCE), but only as a symbol of wealth. For the Vedic man cows were 'the "real life" substratum of the goods of life'

In Hinduism, the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and a full Earthly lifeIn Hinduism, the cow is considered sacred and its protection is a recurrent theme in which she is symbolic of abundance, of the sanctity of all life and of the earth that gives much while asking nothing in return. Most Hindus respect the cow as a matriarchal figure for her gentle qualities and providing nurturing milk and its products for a largely vegetarian diet. It holds an honored place in society, and it is part of Hindu tradition to avoid the consumption of beef.

Today, in Hindu majority nations like India and Nepal, bovine milk continues to hold a central place in religious rituals. In honor of their exalted status, cows often roam free. In some places, it is considered good luck to give one a snack, or fruit before breakfast. In places where there is a ban on cow slaughter, a citizen can be sent to jail for killing or injuring a cow.

With injunctions against eating the cow, a system evolved where only the pariah fed on dead cows and treated their leather.

The law in India
The act of killing a member of the genus Bos was illegal in all of India[citation needed], and remains illegal in many Indian states[citation needed]. However, many slaughterhouses operate in big cities like Mumbai or Kolkata. While there are approximately 3,600 slaughterhouses operating legally in India, there are estimated to be over 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses. The efforts to close them down have so far been largely unsuccessful.