Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Nepal Temple Bans Animal Sacrifice at Gadhimai Festival

July 29, 2015 Wall Street Journal  

Mass sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of animals that has taken place twice a decade in Nepal for two and a half centuries will draw to a close after the temple behind it banned slaughter on its premises.

“For generations, pilgrims have sacrificed animals to the Goddess Gadhimai, in the hope of a better life,” Ram Chandra Shah, chairman of the Gadhimai Temple Trust said in a statement Tuesday. “The time has come to replace killing and violence with peaceful worship and celebration.”

Thousands of Hindu pilgrims from India and Nepal take part in the Gadhimai festival every five years. In 2009, they sacrificed an estimated 500,000 buffalos, goats, chickens and other animals in the hope the slaughterings would bring well-being and prosperity to their families.

But temple authorities have come under pressure in recent years from animal-rights activists, who petitioned India’s Supreme Court to ban cross-border transportation of animals for sacrifices in order to put a stop to the practice.

In 2014, the number of sacrifices at the festival dropped significantly after the court directed India’s government to ensure no animal was exported to Nepal from India without a license. The temple trust acknowledged the efforts of animal rights groups as providing it with “motivation” to make the decision to ban the sacrifices.

“This is a tremendous victory for compassion that will save the lives of countless animals,” said Gauri Maulekhi, a consultant for the Indian office of Washington D.C.-based Humane Society International. “We commend the temple committee but acknowledge that a huge task lies ahead of us in educating the public so that they are fully aware.”

“We applaud the temple committee’s decision to end this mass slaughter of innocent animals and hope that they will continue to support us in our future endeavors for protecting animals in the country,” said Manoj Gautam, founding member of Animal Welfare Network Nepal.

Mr. Shah, chairman of Gadhimai Teple Trust, highlighted the need to educate the people to bring an end to the practice of animal sacrifice at the temple. He said with people’s help, the next festival will be free of violence against animals.

“With your help, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is free from bloodshed,” Mr. Shah said in the statement. “Moreover, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is a momentous celebration of life.”

Comment: We’ll have to see if in reality this outmoded, senseless, and barbaric tradition actually comes to an end. Compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment are critical to the moral progress of society.
For when an injustice is absolute, one must oppose it absolutely. Tom Regan

December 4, 2019 Mass slaughter in Nepal: thousands of animals killed in two days

Buffalos, goats, pigeons, pigs, ducks, rats and chickens have been slaughtered during the Gadhimai ‘festival’ in Nepal. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the festival, bringing their own animals to sacrifice. Animal welfare organizations and people from around the world have condemned the sickening and cruel massacre of innocent, feeling beings.  

Animals murdered in the name of culture, tradition, religion, celebration, or superstition are among the greatest obstacles to our moral progress.

Read more: Ethical Issues - animals & religious views; sacrifice, factory farming; pressure mounts to end Gadhimai sacrifice; the bloodbath went ahead; the aftermath; will it stop?

What kind of emotions do animals feel? A new book (2019) by primatologist Frans de Waal suggests that animal and human emotions are more similar than we think.  

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