This Sunday December 14th marks the one year anniversary of the killing of the cow Gangotri by officers of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) at ISKCON's Bhaktivedanta Manor Krishna Temple in Hertfordshire, England.
The (UK) Telegraph, one of England's largest and most respected newspapers, published a story in its December 12, 2008 edition, in which the RSPCA's donation of a cow was made to Bhaktivedanta Manor.
A year ago on 13th December 2007 officers of the RSPCA came on to the sacred 78 acre estate of the Krishna Temple and Gangotri was killed by lethal injection.
The Justice for Gangotri Task force was set up with the mandate from the Hindu Community. They have been campaigning and lobbying the RSPCA and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for a year.
The RSPCA have now issued an official apology to the Hindu Community for any offense caused by their actions. In an unprecedented move the RSPCA have agreed to give a cow to the Temple. The cow will be a Meuse-Rhine Issel cow, a hardy and high-yielding milker from Holland and Germany. The Temple have asked that the cow be already in calf, and say that if the calf turns out to be a bull, it would be used for field work at the Temple rather than being slaughtered as usually happens.
DEFRA has published a protocol which will, in the future, govern animal welfare issues.
“Kapil Dudakia the chair of the Gangotri Task Force said, ’The Hindu community was shocked at the events leading to the killing of Gangotri, however, over the past year we have worked steadfastly with DEFRA and also the RSPCA to seek a solution that would address the issues of concern to the Hindu community and also ensure that animal welfare remains a priority for all of us. We look forward to working with both the RSPCA and DEFRA so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.’
The prayers to the mark the historic resolution will take place at Bhaktivedanta Manor on Saturday 13th December 2008 where Hindu leaders from across the country will gather to join temple priests clad in their orange and white robes in an authentic ceremony to mark the event at the site of the largest cow protection program being built at a cost of 2.1 million pounds (US$3.1 million).
Stuart Coyle the chief herdsman at this new center said “This resolution will protect our cows at our large new center opening in August next year and I believe the Temple and the RSPCA can now work together for animal welfare. The gesture by the RSPCA of donating a cow, has touched our hearts.”