London, Mar 29 : Monks belonging to the largest Hindu temple in Europe, angered by the RSPCA's slaughter of its sacred cow, have served legal papers on the animal welfare charity for trespassing when they put down the temple's sacred cow Gangotri on December 13, 2007. Campaigners from the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hindu temple in Hertfordshire claimed that the "mercy killing" was illegal and took place while monks were at worship.
Gauri das, temple president at Bhaktivedanta Manor, marched with five other monks to the RSPCA's West Sussex headquarters, and said: "The RSPCA unlawfully trespassed on temple property and killed the cow." "The cow was under veterinary care and was recovering. There was absolutely no reason for her to be killed," he added. The Independent quoted Das as saying that the way they carried out this act on the sacred premises of a temple with no dialogue was completely unacceptable. The cow, a Belgian blue-jersey cross, was killed while monks were worshipping, and the temple alleged that the RSPCA used an illegal warrant to enter their property.
The charity was in negotiations with the temple for weeks over the slaughter of the 13-year-old cow because it had a broken leg and had bedsores.
RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion John Rolls said that they acted properly, within the law, but clearly they are of a different opinion.
Radha Mohan das, a spokesman for the temple, termed the action of the RSPCA highly offensive and that the charity had conducted itself in a high-handed and devious fashion.
Bhaktivedanta Manor runs the Cow Protection Project, which cares for old cows and bulls, and allows them to die naturally. Last year, Shambo, a bull kept at Skanda Vale religious community near Carmarthen, Wales, made headlines when he was slaughtered in July after testing positive for bovine TB.
Two other animals from the same temple were also put down soon after Shambo's death.