END ANIMAL SACRIFICE AT THE GADHIMAI FESTIVAL

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Every 5 years, Hindu worshippers of the Goddess Gadhimai convene in Bariyapur of Bara District in south-central Nepal at the Gadhimai Temple. Worshippers attend a month-long festival to honor the Goddess, which culminates in the barbaric slaughter of hundreds of thousands of buffalo, goats, chickens, pigeons, ducks, and rats.

This two-day savagery is the single biggest animal sacrifice event in the world. An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 thousand animals were killed at the Gadhimai Festival in 2009, and in 2014, another 100,000 animals were brutally butchered by having their heads hacked from their bodies. The weapon of choice? Nepal’s traditional and long-honored knife – the Khukuri. 

Global News has reported that in 2015, the Government of Nepal and the Gadhimai Temple Trust declared that no more animal slaughter would occur at the Gadhimai Festival. This is incorrect. The festival is scheduled to occur in November of 2019 – unabated and unregulated. In November 2019, the world and Nepal will witness another mass-murder event, unless action is taken, and enough pressure is put on the Government of Nepal to take active steps to address this atrocity and put an end to it.

It is shameful that Nepal remains one of the few countries that still permit animal sacrifice. Sri Lanka has recently taken steps to ban this gruesome activity, as has India. Nepal’s Animal Rights and Welfare Activists, organized under the Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal (FAWN) have been fighting the battle to end the bloodshed and now they need the support of allies around the world to help these animals.

There is some small hope. In 2016, Nepal’s Supreme Court issued a directive to discourage animal sacrifice during the Gadhimai Festival. The directive order called on the Government at all levels to discourage the tradition of murdering animals to please the Gods. The directive argues that the mass killing is against Nepal’s Animal Health and Livestock Services Act of 1999 and points out the adverse environmental effects. This has been supported by an interim order by the Supreme Court of India, which directs the Government of India to address the illegal movement of animals across the border between India and Nepal.

We need your help now. The Government of Nepal is placing great importance on an upcoming campaign for increased tourism to Nepal, called Visit Nepal 2020. The ritualized butchering of hundreds of thousands of innocent animals would not look good on the eve of this campaign. We ask you to SIGN, to use your networks and SHARE, and together we can create enough pressure to encourage the Government to act against this horror.

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© 2019 Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal

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