Indo-Asian News Service, May 5, 2003
NEW YORK, May 5. — A trial has begun in the New York Supreme Court for an injunction seeking the eviction of two “sacred” cows and farm animals from the home of a Hare Krishna couple in a village in the USA.
Mr Raymond Bulson, the lawyer representing the village of Angelica in Allegany county, said Mr Steven Voith and Mrs Linda Voith did not have a valid animal permit to house cows and other farm animals and hence the litigation against them.
“For a valid animal permit to keep farm animals you need at least 10 acres of land. The rules say that. But the Voiths have only 2.5 acres,” he said.
The Voiths alleged they were targets of religious persecution.
“We are followers of Krishna Bhaktivedanta. The cows are sacred to us. We are against cow slaughter. That’s the reason why we are being targeted,” said Mr Voith.
“If we lose the case, I have written a letter to the Indian ambassador seeking amnesty for myself in India,” he added.
According to a press release by a regional office of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Voiths have long suffered religious persecution.
“The Voiths were denied a permit (for the cows) because they were unable to obtain the signatures granting permission from their immediate neighbours despite the fact that all of their neighbours keep livestock, including cows, on their property, which is also within village limits.”