Shambo slaughtered after police force entry to Skanda Vale

Leaked preliminary results of a post mortem on the TB reactor Shambo indicate the presence of lesions consitent with the presence of the disease.

A full statement from the Welsh Assembly is expected later on Friday (27 July).

The Welsh Assembly has confirmed that Shambo, the six year old bovine TB reactor Hindu monks fought to save from slaughter, has been killed by lethal injection.

To see BBC pictures of Shambo’s last moments at Skanda Vale click here 

Animal health officers supported by 30 Dyfed Powys police took almost 12 hours to remove the beast from a temple at the Skanda Vale multi-faith centre at Llanpumsaint in Carmarthenshire.

Action followed a legal battle based on the community members’ belief in the sanctity of all life, and claims that the isolated “sacred” reactor presented to threat to animal or human health.

The challenge to the slaughter order ended in the Court of Appeal in London on Monday (23 July) and at 8.00am four days later assembly officials arrived to remove the bullock.

But they were turned back because they did not have a warrant to enter private land.

When one was obtained from Carmarthen Magistrates they found the centre’s gates padlocked and it proved impossible to serve it on senior monks.

The warrant and a copy of the original slaughter order issued in May were pinned on a wall and a two hour stand-off began.

Eventually bolt cutters were used to open the gates, and some eight hours after officials first arrived, police officers started to move over 100 chanting people taking part in a vigil for the bullock.

This and gaining entry to the temple housing the animal was completed at 7.25pm when the animal was loaded in a trailer by officers, who had removed their helmets as a mark of religious respect.  

A joint Welsh Assembly Government and Dyfed Powys Police statement said an extremely difficult operation had been handled efficiently and with great sensitivity by all the agencies involved.

“Despite the large number of people present the animal was removed from the site without any injury to it or to people involved,” the statement claimed.

But community leader Brother Alex told BBC Wales that a “nightmare” was just beginning for the Welsh assembly.

“Ignorant people have chosen to desecrate our temple and have chosen to destroy life unnecessarily,” he claimed.

However, Welsh farming leaders insisted that common sense had prevailed and rules which every farmer had to obey had been lawfully enforced.

Brian Walters, vice president of the Farmers Union of Wales offered the monks the same sympathy he would extend to any cattle farmer dealing with bovine TB.