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Joanna Lumley: Nepal say no to mass animal sacrifice

News Section Icon Published 13/10/2014

Joanna Lumley fronts Gadhimai protest

On Saturday, Joanna Lumley led the call for an end to an animal slaughter festival due to be held in Nepal in November.

At a rally outside the Nepalese embassy in London, Joanna said: “I love Nepal – both the land and its people. The Gadhimai animal sacrifice festival entails horrendous animal suffering and is a complete anomaly in this wonderful country.

“I urge the Nepalese Government to end it as a matter of urgency.

“I hope that our voices of protest will curtail this year’s festival so that Hindus in Nepal and elsewhere can once again be proud of their true tradition of compassion and concern for animals.”

As many as 250,000 farm animals will be brutally slaughtered at the festival, which happens every five years. Gadhimai is a Hindu festival but is widely opposed by the global Hindu community.

Our supporters made their voices heard at the rally, which attracted the interest of the national media both here and in Nepal.

Joanna Lumley with Nitin Mehta and Anil Bhanot
Joanna Lumley with Nitin Mehta and Anil Bhanot

We were also thrilled to have Anil Bhanot Managing Director of Hindu Council UK and Nitin Mehta MBE founder of the Young Indian Vegetarians, add their voices against the slaughter festival.

At the last festival, in 2009, hundreds of thousands of animals were decapitated, experiencing extreme fear and distress at the most vulnerable moment of their lives.

Pru Elliott, Campaigns Officer at Compassion in World Farming, said: “‘Tradition’ is no excuse to cause suffering to animals. The Nepalese Government must stop the inhumane and brutal slaughter of thousands of animals.”

Surya Upadhya, Chairman of the Nepalese Hindu Forum in the UK, said:  “The Nepalese Hindu Forum in the UK completely opposes animal sacrifice as Hinduism does not sanction the killing of living beings.

“There should not be any place for this inhumane, barbaric sacrifice of innocent animals in the name of any religion”.

The last festival was sponsored by the Nepalese Government to the tune of £36,500, which is nearly 50 times the minimum Nepalese annual wage.

Take action

More than 75,000 people have signed our petition urging the Nepalese Government to stop the festival and to stop funding the festival. Please sign and share the petition to stop this cruelty.

Read all about it

The event was covered by the media in the UK, including the Times (£), the Mail on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Huffington Post and by Nepalese outlets.


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