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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Sacred Bull Action “Irresponsible And Anti-Social”

The National Secular Society has described action taken by worshippers at a Hindu Temple in Wales to prevent the slaughter of a bull, which has tested positive for TB, as “irresponsible and anti-social”.

We are shocked that the Hindu Council UK is opposing the cull and accusing the Welsh Assembly of being “only interested in commercialism, to make sure Wales maintains its zero TB certificate”. We call on the Hindu Council UK to ask its members and worshippers not to obstruct officials going about their lawful duties, which they are carrying out to protect the public at large.

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the NSS, said that those obstructing the officials were “putting religious dogma before the welfare of the community. This bull poses a potential threat to the health of many thousands of animals and even to people. The court has ruled that the bull must be slaughtered and the law must prevail. The religious leaders in charge of the temple must abide by the same law that everyone else in the country is required to follow.”

Mr Porteous Wood added that “this case represents another example of religious bodies trying to put themselves above the law. We do not live in a theocracy, and democratically enacted legislation must be observed and respected by everyone. The Human Rights Act does not give religion complete carte blanche – religious rights are limited by the need to protect public health and public order. In this case, the statutory authorities must prevail.”

The suggestion, supported by the Hindu Council UK, that consideration be given the infected bull to be transported to India risks spreading the disease internationally and must be resisted at all costs.


Published Thu, 26 Jul 2007