Shambo, the “sacred” bullock belonging to the Skanda Vale Hindu community in Carmarthenshire, was due to be removed for slaughter on Thursday (26 July).

As Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (25 July) the assembly announced it would remove Shambo at 8am on Thursday.

But leaders at the ashram near Llanpumsaint told the assembly they would not assist officials in his removal and that the officials would be forced to interrupt morning prayers to remove Shambo from his shrine.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly, Brother Michael said the group would not break the law in their efforts to save Shambo.

But they warned the assembly that to take the bullock would be considered tantamount to a sacrilegious act by Hindus around the world.

“They should know the consequences of their actions,” Brother Michael said.

A spokeswoman for the assembly government said: “We have informed the community that we intend to remove the affected bullock from the premises on Thursday 26 July.

“This has been a difficult case for all involved, but our aim continues to be the protection of human and animal health.

“We appeal to the community to co-operate fully in order to minimise distress to the animal, and to ensure the safety of all concerned.”

However, the saga could well run on. The community owns a further three cattle that have returned an inconclusive result to the bovine TB skin test.