London, Dec 13 (ANI): The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is giving a cow to a Hindu temple in Hertfordshire to replace one put down by a vet, and said it was sorry for causing offence to the Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple in Watford, but stood by the vet’s decision.
A Belgian Blue Jersey cross cow will be given to the temple, The Independent reported.
Animal welfare officers walked into the grounds of Watford’s Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple on December 13, 2007 and put down one of its cows, outraging the local Hindu community.
Gangotri, a 13-year-old blue Jersey cross, was being nursed by temple officials after becoming paralysed during an overly vigorous mating session with Karma Deva, the resident bull. But the officials, from the RSPCA, believed Gangotri was “suffering unnecessarily” and killed her.
The decision caused a bitter rift to develop between Britain’s Hindus, who regard cows as sacred, and the RSPCA. But a year on, the two groups have buried the hatchet thanks to a series of high-level talks and a little encouragement from the Archbishop of Canterbury, a patron of the society.
A meeting between temple officials and the RSPCA’s chief executive, Mark Watts, took place earlier this week, the paper said.
The society agreed to apologise for upsetting the Hindu community and offered to give a replacement cow to the temple as a goodwill gesture.
Officials from Lambeth Palace yesterday said they played no part in brokering that final meeting but one temple official admitted that progress in the talks only came about once Rowan Williams was contacted.
A spokesman from the RSPCA stressed yesterday that its vets had acted within the law when they put Gangotri down but admitted that they had upset the Hindu community in the way it was carried out.
Kapil Dudaki, who led the temple’s “Gangotri Task Force” campaign group, said the donation of a new cow would help calm tensions between Hindus and the RSPCA. (ANI)