(taken from the ISCOWP Website)
Minimum Cow Protection Standards - ISKCON Law 507
Endorsed by the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture
Approved by ISKCON's Governing Body Commission, March 1999
The following is a list of cow protection standards which is now ISKCON Law 507. Most of the standards have been discussed and formulated on the COM cow conference mostly by devotees who have had many years of experience caring for cows and/or the land; USA: ISCOWP (Balabhadra das & Chayadevi dasi), Madhava Gosh das, Ranaka das (New Vrndavana), Hare Krsna dasi (BTG & ISKCON Farm Research Committee), Rohita das, Dvibhuja das (New Talavan), Suresvara das (ACBSP, ISKCON Farm Research Committee), Anuttama das (ISKCON Communications), England: Radha Krsna das (ACBSP), Syamasundara das (Bhaktivedanta Manor), France: Pitavas das & Aradhya dasi, Bangladesh: Nistula das, Serbia: Gopal, Inc., India: Labangaltika dasi, Ekadasi das (Padayatra Secretary) and some of its other members, New Zealand: Ananta Krsna dasi
THE COWS ARE AS IMPORTANT AS THE CITIZEN
It is also significant that Vasudeva inquired about the welfare of Nanda Maharaja's animals. The animals, and especially the cows, were protected exactly in the manner of one's children. Vasudeva was a ksatriya, and Nanda Maharaja was a vaisya. It is the duty of the ksatriya to give protection to the citizens of mankind, and it is the duty of the vaisya to give protection to the cows. The cows are as important as the citizens. Just as the human citizens should be given all kinds of protection, so the cows also should be given full protection. -Krsna Book, Volume 1, Chapter 5
BRAHMINICAL CULTURE CANNOT BE MAINTAINED WITHOUT COW PROTECTION
"Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled. -Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8: Chapter 24, Text 5 Purport
The purpose of these standards is to institute a world-wide cow protection minimum standard within ISKCON. The standards represent a cooperative spirit between the devotees involved, often of diverse views, to come to a general agreement in a joint effort to help prevent any mistreatment of ISKCON cows and help develop cow protection programs that exemplify Srila Prabhupada's vision of cow protection. ISKCON has made significant efforts to protect cows but still mistakes have been made on ISKCON farms in the past which have created present problems that will take time and effort to correct.
The Standards enacted below will assure that the current problems are rectified in the near future and similar difficulties will not arise again.
The "Recommended" is the ideal, the "Permitted" is an exception to the ideal, and "Not Allowed" is self-explanatory. These are internal requirements and they do not supersede whatever local government rules there are. We should follow the higher standard whether it be the Standards or the local government. In transportation, for instance, there are laws of inoculation that MUST be followed.
There are further issues that need to be standardized and such proposals will be presented at the GBC Mayapur GBC meetings.. Rewording, and additions to the standards will be presented at each Mayapur meeting if such changes are deemed necessary by the Agriculture and Cow Protection Ministry after the standards have been in use and feedback has been ascertained.
The term "cows" is used herein to mean cows, calves, oxen, and bulls. Cows are domestic animals, not wild animals. They are dependent on the care of humans.
Cow Care Standards Edit
1. Lifetime Protection
- Maintaining a animal for its full lifetime including its training and engagement in productive service. Female cows are not required to be bred (see Section 2.9), and should not do heavy work (Section 1.5).
2. Daily Observation of Herd
- All cows should be given a daily head count and health check.
- Short concise records of conditions of the cows, land, and weather should be kept on a daily basis. These records are to be used as a tool for monitoring and improving herd conditions.
- Stone walls, board fence, woven wire, living fences (except Multiflora rose) or high tensile are recommended to contain cows by creating an impenetrable border.
5. Safety and Security
- Adequate arrangements must be provided to ensure the safety and security of the cows from theft, abuse, and maltreatment. These may include locking gates, lighting, security surveillance, restricted access or other arrangements as per local circumstances.
- a) A dying cow should be kept as comfortable as possible and given as much association and transcendental sound vibrations as possible. There should be access to water and food.
- b) Calf mortality rate should be no greater than 5%, the achievable standard.
1. Daily Observation of Herd
- For larger herds with a shortage of cowherds it is acceptable for the health check to be done weekly. Daily counting is still required.
- Keeping a general farm journal. Keeping breeding records of cows, parentage, offspring.
- a) Electric fencing permitted for temporary and immediate fencing; it is especially useful for rotational grazing.
- b) Barbed wire permitted in ares of low pressure and where other types of fencing would be impractical to use, but should not be used where animals are concentrated.