London, Dec 26: Hundreds of Hindus are expected to protest outside the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) headquarters today over the slaughter of a sacred cow at their temple while they worshipped.
The RSPCA was accused of secretly killing Gangotri, a sick 13-year-old Belgian blue-Jersey cross, by lethal injection at Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hertfordshire. ''We are holding a peaceful prayer protest at the way Gangotri was killed. The RSPCA made the decision to kill the cow immediately. Given the chance we would have taken legal action to try to stop it,'' Daily Mail quoted temple spokesman Vinay Tanna as saying. The temple said it would send 200 delegates to the RSPCA headquarters in Horsham, West Sussex. Meanwhile, a religious ceremony to mark the end of the mourning period for the cow will be attended by 700 Hindus at the temple.
Cows are sacred to Hindus and the killing of one is considered sacrilege.
Community leader Gauri Das said monks caring for the cow were bundled away by police and the head farmer was distracted as it had a lethal injection.
He said the cow was sick but was not diseased. The temple runs The Cow Protection Project and allows old animals to die naturally. The RSPCA said ''The cow has been suffering from painful, infected sores, her limbs had become wasted and her breathing difficult. Three vets agreed the animal was suffering and should be immediately euthanised.''