Rev Richard Leslie- A Worrying Dimension

Sacred cow a law exception

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"Worrying": many people believe the RSPCA was wrong to order the killingof Gangotri, a sacred cow at Bhaktivedanta ManorAs convenor of the Hertsmere Forum of Faiths, may I use your column to express my sympathy and support for the Hindu community at theBhaktivedenta Manor, Letchmore Heath, on the death of Gangotri, a cow intheir small herd.I believe that the chain of events raises serious issues.I question whether the RSPCA should continue to be allowed legal powersto enter premises and order the killing of animals deemed to be
suffering.I question whether considerations of suffering, difficult to assess byany objective measure, can provide the sole grounds for ending ananimal's life.The accusation that this killing was ordered without proper consultation with the owners adds another worrying dimension.Having myself recently seen Gangotri and been aware of the love andreverence with which all the animals in the community's care aretreated, there can surely be no question of ill-treatment.The central issue is whether an animal held in such veneration should beallowed to live out its natural life, in the same way as human beings.What palliative care was offered?Is it not the case that terminally unhealthy or injured animals tend togive up on life quite quickly?No one should be comfortable that any organisation can claim the rightto enter our homes and indiscriminately order the killing of amuch-loved pet against our wishes.Those who ordered and carried out the killing of Gangotri must reflecton the outrage they have caused.A number of exceptions are made to our laws to accommodate religioussensitivities. Here surely is another case in point.

Rev Richard Leslie St Michael's Vicarage, Brook Road, Borehamwood

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