RSPCA was not deceitful

Borehamwood Times: Gangotri: the RSPCA says animal welfare must be its 'first consideration' Gangotri: the RSPCA says animal welfare must be its 'first consideration'

In response to articles and letters in the Borehamwood & Elstree Times, the RSPCA feels it must clarify its involvement in the case of the cow Gangotri at Bhaktivedanta Manor.

The RSPCA is sympathetic towards the representatives of the manor, however animal welfare must be our first consideration.It is sad we had to take this action but the most important thing was that the animal was suffering. The RSPCA acted on the advice of three independent veterinary surgeons, all of whom concurred that the animal was suffering and should be euthanased immediately.She was not, as has been stated, getting better every day. The cow was put to sleep under veterinary supervision and the method used was completely humane, causing the cow no extra suffering.It is incorrect to say the RSPCA duped police. The police carried out an assessment to measure the impact of any action on the community and to ensure the action did not conflict with religious worship.We categorically deny any deceit - we'd had meetings with the community saying this cow's suffering must end. We explained the urgency of the situation and that the cow had to be put to sleep. We found staff on the site and told them what we were doing before action was taken.We never want to cause distress, but it would have been against the law and veterinary evidence had we allowed the cow to continue to suffer while the case was debated.Sophie Wilkinson

RSPCA senior regional press officer, East region

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