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Desperate measures to avoid DEFRA death warrant

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Hindu monks campaigning to save a sacred bull from being slaughtered under animal health regulations have ramped their media push up a notch.

"Shambo", a temple bull residing at the Skanda Vale Monastery in Carmarthenshire, now has his own webcam, dubbed "MooTube". This joins an online petition and a sort of bovine blog, in which the monks post Shambo's "thought for the day".

The sacred blogger, in common with some other blogosphere denizens, has offered fairly lacklustre and self-centred commentary thus far.

"Finally I got my very own moo tube, not many moo's [sic] can say that," wrote the bull yesterday. Apparently.

"Loads of friendly farmers calling in," he added, indicating that he may not be fully aware of farmers' normal relationship with their livestock.

Shambo isn't the only animal living in charitably-supported luxury at Skanda Vale. The monks also have an elephant named Valli, at least one other bull, donkeys, deer, goats, and peacocks.

The rest of the temple menagerie have refrained from joining Shambo in the personal webcam online space, until now principally inhabited by lackadaisical tarts (NSFW).

Shambo might be pardoned for arguably becoming a media whore, as his life is quite literally, um, on the line. The unfortunate bovine has tested positive for TB and is thus marked for death by the remorseless bureaucrats of DEFRA. His mystical guardians have isolated him from contact with other animals, and thus far he appears to be in fine health, but to date the authorities have remained unmoved.

However, the monks have appealed to the Welsh Assembly for clemency and said yesterday that they "look forward to a positive response from the Welsh Assembly tomorrow". ®

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