Welsh authorities to appeal against Shambo court ruling

London, July 17 (IANS) As Hindu groups welcomed Monday’s high court ruling quashing the order to put down the bovine TB-infected bull Shambo, the Welsh assembly government lodged an appeal against the ruling and the farming community reacted with anger at the judgement.

A spokesperson for the local government said: “We are disappointed with the judgment. Our aim and responsibility continues to be the protection of public and animal health. There are serious public and animal health issues in this case that need to be resolved urgently. As a result we are appealing the judgement as a matter of urgency.”

Support TwoCircles

Reacting to the ruling, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) said: “This ludicrous ruling contradicts the principles upon which successful TB eradication programmes throughout the world have been based for generations.

“It flies in the face of common sense. It seems that the British justice system is now content to put human health and animal welfare at grave risk. Today’s ruling could set disease control in Britain back by 70 years”.

Official figures reveal that last year 5,220 cattle in Wales were culled because they failed the TB test.

Labour’s Alun Davies, chair of the assembly’s rural development sub-committee, said: “It’s one of the most ludicrous rulings I’ve heard from any judge for quite some time. It drives a coach and horses through the policy which is addressing bovine TB at the moment in Wales”.

Liberal Democrat’s Mick Bates questioned the decision to spare Shambo: “This decision is a blow to every farmer in Wales who have lost animals to bovine TB. The High Court decision puts assembly government plans to control the disease in jeopardy.”

Conservative shadow rural affairs minister Brynle Williams said: “This is an incomprehensible decision. It sends out completely the wrong message to the farming industry and those working and living in the countryside.”

Welcoming the ruling, Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain said: “We feel that the High Court came to right conclusion when it said that slaughtering Shambo would be a gross interference of the Hindu community’s right to worship.

“This is a historic judgement and we commend the proportionate response of the learned judges, especially as Shambo will never enter the human chain. A key criticism of the earlier decision to slaughter Shambo had been the subjectivity and hence unreliability of the test. This is a landmark judgement in the history of religious worship in the UK.”