Would *you* have spared Shambo?

So, they’ve killed Shambo, a sacred bull

See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6918618.stm

Now, I don’t care about killing animals, and I find religious people to be lunatic at worst, amusing curiosities at best, but there is no way that I would have sanctioned Sambo’s death (he was killed because he tested positive for TB). I wouldn’t have sanctioned his death because the monks were prepared to keep in isolation, and no matter what the bureaucratic rules might say some common sense has to come into play. A lot of people wanted this bull to live. He was not the same as an ordinary bull. Needless suffeering has been caused simply to placate Welsh farmers.

If my opinion of the Welsh and especially their regional assembly could be any lower, then this incident would have lowered it.

So what do you think? Would you have spared Shambo?

No. The bull was infected. The last thing we needed was another outbreak of some cattle disease, no matter what claims the group were making with respect to isolation.

The slaughter wasn’t without precedent, neither - pet sheep were slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak, and rightfully so, IMO.

If the bull was isolated then the risk of spreading disease would be minimal. And there’s plenty of slaughter going on due to TB, but by and large the farmers don’t mind so long as they get compensation - this bull was very different.

(As an aside, I understand that TB is spread by badgers but this fact is covered up for some reason).

The bull was only different in that his owners didn’t want him slaughtered, but in the case of livestock with communicable diseases that can cause outbreaks, the owners aren’t usually given a choice.

They had much greater feelings about him being slaughtered than most owners. And they were prepared to take the necessary steps to stop any other animals catching the disease.

Seeing as how you consider religious people to be lunatic, and I agree with you to some extent on this, I can’t understand why the killing of a “sacred” bull can be so upsetting to you.

The animal had a disease

How on earth can a frigging bull be sacred anyway.

Badgers are protected species I understand

It’s not the killing of the bull that upsets me (and I’m not exactly “upset” at all), it’s the disregard for these peoples feelings when allowing the bull to live would have caused no harm at all.

Hang on a second, you said religious people are lunatics so why does it bother you.

The bull if allowed to live could have spread TB

My last say in this thread

Lunatics still have feelings.

Whilst the bull could have spread TB, in practice I believe that he wouldn’t have done. Like everything else in life, risk has to be balanced against reward, and I feel that the tiny risk of TB spreading via this animal was balanced by the reward of keeping these people, and their many supporters, happy.

And the consequences of the TB spreading are? Upsetting a few religious folks versus another foot and mouth type disaster? Not really a hard choice.

It’s particularly hard for me to get worked up over a (potential) overreaction to cattle diseases in the UK, given what’s happened to British agriculture over the past thirty years.

I don’t understand how you think that this is covered up. It’s “common knowledge” that badgers spread TB, and in fact there are regular culls. The latest research suggests that the risk is vastly overblown and, in fact, badgers aren’t a primary cause, e.g. see Krebs 1999 and the UK’s Independent Scientific Group on Cattle Tuberclosis (New Scientist, June 2007).

Screw people’s feelings, religions, and cattle! Bovine TB can be transferred to humans and if you aren’t afraid of tuberculosis you should be.


And deer, rabbits, and mice. I wouldn’t trust a group that is against killing animals to share my method of ensuring isolation, a daily tactical nuclear strike.

Is it possible that this bull could have been treated to clear up any infection ?

Most likely the answer is yes, but this also points to the UK farms policy of not vaccinating animals against things like this, and foot & mouth disease.

The reason given for this is that to test wether such diseases are present, the current testing system relies on isolating anitbodies to the particular disease.

The problem with this is that vaccinated animals would also show up as positive for the disease based on this method of testing.

It would make it very difficult to track the progression of the disease through to the source, but you could argue that vaccination would obviate the need to do so, as the disease could not spread anyway.

Other countries routinely vaccinate against many of this diseases because there is already a natural reservoir of the disease in those countries, so a large number of farm animals would be exposed anyway and carry the antibodies.

UK farmers blame badgers for carrying Brucellosis, a form of TB that can infect cattle and are unhappy about the current ban on badger killing.

It does strike me that there is some other politics involved here, maybe the bull could have been cured and a certificate issued, but that would then open up a chink in the current system of not vaccinating farm stock.

If you allow farm stock to be immunised, under our current situation, you would have to require this to be done, and enforce it, I doubt that the farming industry would want to pay for such costs.

The farming lobby is an extremely powerful grouping in the UK, this is likely true in most countries in Europe.

If it could have been treated and if the owners were prepared to fund the treatment, I’d have said that would have represented the best solution.
Whether or not you happen to agree with their notion that the animal was special in the way they said it was, it was still of great value to them.

No, respect for idolatry should stop at being the cause of an epidemic.

But is it plausible that Shambo would cause an epidemic?

Yes. In my understanding he was not isolated from the people worshipping him.

But he could have been.

If he’s isolated, how could they have been able to worship him?

Too dangerous. Can’t spare him. I’m okay with killing animals for food. Killing them when they could cause danger to people or other animals–that’s acceptable, too, then.

So you mean we should have killed this bull even if the tb infection could have been cured??

If curing him took too long, then yes. It’s not as if you can cure an infection like that overnight. I don’t see why him being an “idol” makes him more special than the regular bulls out there.