Chakra Living

Cow Protection Ministry And New Vrindavan Reach Accord

by ISKCON Cow Protection

Posted June 18, 2007

June 11, 2007

Balabhadra das, the Minister of Cow Protection for ISKCON, and the New Vrindavana Community Board of Trustees have reached an agreement that both sides hope will lead to improved communication and cooperation between them, as well as improved long-term protection of cows and bulls in New Vrindavana.

In a letter posted on Chakra dated April 6 ("Violation of ISKCON Minimum Cow Protection Standards"), Balabhadra criticized New Vrindavana's purchase of 12 additional cows without a plan for their lifetime protection and for protection of their progeny. Balabhadra pointed out, per ISKCON Minimum Cow Protection Standards (Law 507), that the community needed to address existing problems in their program before New Vrindavana could purchase additional cows.

Balabhadra's concerns were related to the ISKCON Law which prohibits (1) animal acquisition (procuring or breeding of a cow for the purpose of supplying milk) without any plan for the care, training and engagement of offspring; and (2) lack of land and funds for animal care (failure to provide sufficient land, cowherds, and funds to support the cow and/or offspring).

In his article, Balabhadra raised two issues: first, that New Vrindavana lacked a long-term plan for developing and protecting its herd, and second, that there was no plan to provide for staff to care and train future bullocks (male calves).

On the other side, some New Vrindavana readers misunderstood Balabhadra's letter to mean that New Vrindavana lacked sufficient land and funds to provide for any increase in their herd. In fact, New Vrindavana has more than sufficient land for a limited increase in cows and an organized, ongoing successful fund-raising program.

After several meetings, the two sides agreed, in brief (1) that Balabhadra will train Jaya Prabhupada das, a New Vrindavana devotee, in the care of the temple's bullocks; (2) that Jaya Prabhupada das will care for and train future bullocks; and (3) that New Vrindavana, having now added 12 cows to their herd, will not purchase more cattle until they have developed a long-term plan for cow protection in consultation of Balabhadra.

With the implementation of these steps, New Vrindavana will be in compliance with ISKCON international standards of cow protection.