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July 26, 2007


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Paul Flynn

Thanks Rich Russom. Your feelings are shared by many. The depth of the anger ariused can be channeled into positive action.

Rich Russom

It is with utter disgust and sadness, that I leave my comments...

I wonder if men with hard hats would be allowed into a church, or any place of worship, for that matter, because there was an unconfirmed report of a contagious disease...I Think Not. This sends a dangerous message to anyone who has deep religious beliefs! Fear is the absence of Spirituality’ and confirms to me that mankind, consumed by fear, has committed yet another heinous & sacrilegious act!

June and Avril

You are to be congratulated on your brilliant piece " What remains after Shambo"".If only the Welsh Assembly could muster people of your sensitivity and common sense the appalling scenes which millions of people around the world witnessed on Thursday could have been avoided.
As vegans and the owners of 2 rescued farm animals we are all too aware that on another day we too could be on the receiving end of the NFU/State jackboot.We have learnt nothing from the Foot & Mouth disaster when millions of healthy animals were needlessly slaughtered( & some disposed of whilst still alive). Many farmers as well as the owners of pet/sanctuary animals pleaded to be allowed to vaccinate only to have their demands blocked by the NFU who only had an eye for compensation Other countries vaccinated and the disease was stopped in it's tracks.Yet here we go again with the almighty NFU once again instructing spineless bureaucrats to slaughter at all costs.Since F&M and Bovine TB are both treatable this policy is doubly offensive.
Like you we have nothing but admiration for the Skanda Vale community who stuck to their principles despite extreme provocation. You do have to wonder if they would have dared to enter a mosque with bolt cutters and police
This event has highlighted much wider issues than the slaughter of a sacred bullock. The treatment of Shambo is symbolic of all that is wrong with modern agriculture and the obscene slaughter at all costs policy in particular.
We too are afraid that the NFU, emboldened by their victory over Shambo, will now step up their attempts to bully the government into a massive badger cull.
We found it odd to say the least that this highly infectious danger to humans and animals was removed from the premises without any evidence of appropriate biosecurity measures - none of the officials were even wearing gloves and apparently no disinfectant was used. This speaks volumes about the real agenda going on here .l. Unbelievably there are also indications that the temple will be invaded again and more stock slaughtered
We understand that the Hindu Forum of Great Britain has asked for a meeting with Hillary Benn.Despite the way in which this situation has been manipulated it has far-reaching implications beyond the status of sacred animals. The discussion needs to be widened to include everyone affected by this insane policy - including organic farmers and owners of small holdings who wish to treat their animals and the owners of pet/sanctuary animals.
We will be expressing our concerns both to the Welsh Assembly and Hillary Benn and would be interested in any advice you may have concerning further action that we and other concerned individuals and organisations can take,
Thank you once again for your heart-warming comments


Thanks Neesan - but it goes beyond Governments. It's the accepted 'wisdom' of the farming establishment that profit is the supreme purpose of animal husbandry. There is no mainstream political party with any different view.

However, there is great anger from many people of diverse views on this horror. Now there is a real chance of an effective lobbying group coming together to challenge the status quo.


Shambo died for a reason, to show us what a truly ruthless and cruel government we have .
RIP Shambo,Remembered by all.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Kara. Many of us feel the same. I had an e-mail this morning saying a campaign will be launched to end the "KILL FIRST: THINK LATER" profit driven policy of farm unions and Governments. There are several well organised campaigning groups alreday in this field now - including the Badger protection people. The leadership would best come from Skanda Vale. Please keep in touch.

Kara Tennant

Thanks for some insightful comments into this complex situation, and, again, for not trivialising this issue- and for recognising the wider issues at stake here.

I feel so angry, upset and let down by everything that has happened to Shambo and the complete lack of respect the WAG has shown.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can do to take this matter further?


If people tried to damage the web cam, or interfered with it in any way surely that is a matter that warrants their prosecution for criminal damage?

And after their conviction the press can publish their names and addresses :)

As for the police, if they've assualted pilgrims, then the least required is that it is justified a lawful, necessary and proportionate.


I too am a member of Quaker Concern for Animals and would like to extend my personal thanks to you for your blog messages about poor Shambo (and related issues) over recent days. It is so refreshing to hear such a clear compassionate mature voice sounding out and offering a sense of vision when all around us, the voice of pragmatism maintains a status quo that involves the daily suffering of countless anonymous animals and can't seem to imagine other possibilities, other ways to live. The voice of pragmatism lacks imagination and any deepened sense that we all - humans and non-humans alike - share the gift of life, which is mysterious and sacred. It doesn't take much to notice the way that all beings show a desire to keep their lives, want to be safe and comfortable, experience terror (even spiders!) and so on. Perhaps Shambo and the monks and nuns at Skanda Vale have opened up the whole area and shone a bright light into an area of great darkness.

You have provided an oasis over these recent sad days. I have enjoyed other often wittily-expressed and always courageous views on your blog. We could do with more leaders like you!

Thank you very much - diolch yn fawr.
Yours in friendship,


I have received a telephone call from one of the Benefactors who has supported the Skanda Vale Monks - he agreed to foot the bill for an independant post mortem to be carried out alongside the WAG post mortem. The Skanda Vale lawyers have advised him that
this has been declined by the Welsh assembly although they have said that the vet can observe....

Are these people now a law unto themselves??? Can this be right? The truth MUST come out. I doubt that the WAG will concede that Shambo was free of bTB - we are putting our money on "inconclusive" being their way out of this.

Surely this merits getting out to the Press? Do the people of Wales not consider that if the WAG are prepared to go so far in this issue that they may well close ranks on other issues in the future which might impact more on the lives of the people in general, more so than what I consider to have been the unlawful killing of a temple bull.

Paul Flynn

Thanks you Gangeticus for your kind words. Please feel free to quote anything you wish.

I believe the influence of yesterday's powerful images from Skanda Vale, some beautiful some horrific, will have a profound effect. They will effect millions of viewers at a very deep level.

For the first time the foolish cruelty of the farm poliy of 'KILL FIRST - THINK LATER" was exposed.


"They kept their vows and celebrated the sanctity and divine nature of all life without violent resistance even when confronted with an act of desecration."

I would hope its a lesson for us all. Thank you for not trivialising this matter, and for reporting with a conscience. Please allow me to use your quote at my blog.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Wenda for another inspiring message. My server went down for the first time for many months yesterday Still there were 419 hits on the site. Yesterday's degrading spectacle is a new beginning. Please keep in touch.


I write to thank you for being one of the very few people in the country, Hindu and Jain hierarchy included, who was neither complacent nor afraid to speak out about the " Shambo saga" or the actrocious behaviour we have all
had to witness, against our will in many cases, at the behest of the Welsh Assembly and the misguided, ignorant fearful lobby of the farming community.

You have been a shining light in a fog of misinformation. I realised yesterday as I watched in horror the biased reporting by all news stations, that there is NO such thing as freedom of speech and that they are all in the pocket of Government in that the reports were misleading and in some cases downright hostile to the community at Skanda Vale.

We can see now just how big the divide is in this country.

Listening to BBC Wales, I was sickened to hear how members of the NFU were baying for blood under the premiss of " If farmers lose their livestock, so should these people." Did they actually lose sight of the fact that Shambo, whether they comprehend the meaning or not, is/was a Temple bull - not a "nice piece of sirloin" or a "grand-daughters pet" (who once large enough or
outgrown, would be killed and eaten anyway). Can the people of this once united country not see further than their own small worlds in that something so very distinct and beautiful in its simple understanding of the sanctity
of life has been desecrated by the so-called Law of the Land? That is democracy I am told.

The Press turned this abominal act by the Assembly into a battle - "The Law of the Land v The Law of God" . I feel nothing but disgust for them having to stoop so low.

No, Mr Flynn - Shambos Temple has been desecrated by Government Representatives,- men in hard hats, who upon entry to the building attempted to rip out the web cam in order to hide from those of us watching on line, what they intended to do - a fact; they may have hidden their faces from the camera as they dismantled Shambos pen and when they realised they had not been successful in their attempt; they may have felt safe under the protection of the Dyfed Powis police force, who man-handled pilgrims from their peaceful worship, but none of those involved from the Rural Affairs Ministers,(both of them involved in this)the Chief Veterinary Officer - ;the officials, or the Police force can ever make what happened yesterday sound the slighest bit right.

Amid the horror of it all is one everlasting image that will stay locked in my mind.... It says to me what Mahatma Gandhi stated many years ago in His peaceful stand against injustice in His country

" I would not kill a human being for protecting a cow, as I will not kill a cow for saving a human life, be it ever so precious"

I have attached this image from the webcom for you to share. It was the last image shown before the Government thugs entered.

I am comforted in some small way that not even they nor their unforgiveable actions can sully this beauty.

Paul Flynn

That's a fair point. I'll alter the bit about race and religion.

I recently came out as a Pastafarian.
What have you bananas got against modernisation?


"Deepening of racial divides caused by a lack of respect for deeply held beliefs"
- Race and religion are unrelated.

If the census can't acknowledge I'm a Jedi (a deeply held but irrational belief :)) I'll show similar contempt for all of the Abrahamic belief systems.
Hinduism is however interesting, I remember listening to Baroness Flather explaining why she viewed Hinduism and atheism as compatible.

As for Jessica's ordeal serves her right for sitting on the modernisation committee! If this is "modern democracy" I'm a banana (with apologies to Private Eye).

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