Shambo to be put down following Court of Appeal ruling

11KBW has won a Court of Appeal ruling that gives the Welsh Assembly the right to have the ‘sacred’ bullock Shambo slaughtered.

Yesterday (23 July) three appeal judges, led by Lord Justice Pill, took three hours to hand down their judgment, which refused to delay Shambo’s death sentence any longer.

The Hindu temple bullock, which is kept in a Carmarthenshire temple by Hindu monks, tested positive for bovine TB (bTB), leading the Welsh Assembly to order his slaughter.

In the High Court last Monday (16 July) His Honour Judge Hickinbottom quashed two Assembly government orders to end Shambo’s life.

But Pill LJ, sitting in London, overturned the quashed orders, referring to “the urgency of the situation and public health needs”.

The judge held that former rural affairs minister Jane Davidson acted lawfully when she refused to make an exception for Shambo as a sacred bullock.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that the minister was entitled to make the decision she did in regard to the very considerable problem presented by bTB,” said Pill LJ. “The decision to eliminate the risk by slaughter and not to permit an exception to the slaughter policy was, in my judgment, justified.”

One of the Hindu monks, Brother Alex, said after the ruling: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the decision. We’ll review our position and see what our options are.”

The Community for the Many Names of God argued that it was “a serious desecration of their temple and a gross invasion of their right to manifest their religion, a right protected by Article 9” of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Supporters of Shambo have logged on to a specially created website to watch his progress and more than 20,000 have signed a petition to save his life.

The Community for the Many Names of God, headed by Swami Suryananda, was represented by Mark Hoskins, assisted by Maya Lester, both of Brick Court Chambers.

They were instructed by head of public and human rights law Stephen Grosz from Bindman & Partners. At first instance David Anderson QC of Brick Court led for the Hindu community.

Clive Lewis QC and Joanne Clement of 11KBW acted for the Welsh Assembly, instructed by the Treasury Solicitors.