Cow protection Certificate of Readiness — 2019
(Proposed by Kalakantha Das, and sponsored by Niranjana Swami and Praghosa Das)
Whereas Srila Prabhupada has stated, “Progressive human civilization is based on brahminical culture, God consciousness and protection of cows.” [ SB1.19.3]
Whereas according to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions a minimum standard for Cow Protection should be maintained in ISKCON (Ratified in ISKCON Law 507 of 1999);
Whereas there are currently cows and bulls that are not being cared for properly;
Whereas it is unacceptable that ISKCON centers start cow protection programs without enough preparation or knowledge of cow protection and its connection with agriculture and the reasons for protecting cows and bulls, which increases the burden on ISKCON, its members and the GBC body;
Whereas the ISKCON Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture has the capacity to assess the ability of an ISKCON center to protect cows and understand its connection with agriculture;
Whereas cow protection initiatives are started without enough consideration for their ongoing maintenance;
Whereas there are several cow protection initiatives that are of a questionable nature:
In order to start a cow protection project that will be accredited within ISKCON and accepted as an ISKCON supported project, a “Cow protection Certificate of Readiness” needs to be obtained.
The following are the requirements for obtaining such a certificate, which will allow new cow protection projects to commence their operations:
1. The GBC Minimum Cow protection Standards ISKCON Law 507(1999) needs to be read and fully understood before applying for the certificate.
2. An exam must be taken and passed. The questions in the exam will be based on the content of Law 507.
3. A well-thought-out business plan with the signature of the GBC member must be presented to the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture.
Details regarding the content that must be addressed in the business plan are provided below in order to assist in its preparation:
Centers may not make any commitments or agreements regarding procuring and/or acquiring cows until the “Cow Protection Certificate of Readiness” is granted. The “Certificate of Readiness” applies only to an ISKCON registered property to which it is granted and is not a generic permanent approval.
The Certificate of Readiness is valid for up to 180 days beyond the initial scheduled acquisition date. If the 180-day period has elapsed without the set up being completed, the center will be reassessed by the ISKCON Ministry for Cow protection and Agriculture for a new Certificate of Readiness to be issued.
The Cow protection Certificate of Readiness will be assessed by a local representative (from the temple concerned); the local GBC, regional leadership (which may include a representative from the National Council or RGB, etc.); and an ISKCON Cow protection and Agriculture (IMCPA) accredited representative. The GBC Executive Committee will be informed of the assessment outcome.
The initial contact:
The centre wanting to commence a Cow protection Program makes an application via the IMCPA’s website. After receiving this application which includes a business plan signed by the local GBC, IMCPA contacts local GBC and regional authorities to assess the viability of the application by their business plan and test. If process shows the centre has made a proper analysis of requirements for Cow protection which includes agriculture and is moving in the right direction regarding the proper allocation resources, etc. for cow protection, then the first stage approval is given. This then enables the temple to make arrangements to acquire cows and commence fund-raising, etc.
The second and final stage will be assessed based on the findings of a site visit by an IMCPA accredited representative, or comprehensive consultation with concerned devotees.