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Success as animal sacrifice banned at Gadhimai Festival

News Section Icon Published 29/07/2015

It’s the world's largest single-location animal sacrifice event and is held in the Gadhimai temple grounds every five years; with tens of thousands of animals sacrificed.

The importance of the announcement on 28th July and the impact it will have on thousands of animals cannot be underestimated. It comes after rigorous negotiations by Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) directly with the Temple Trust .


Our supporters played a major part - your donations were used to fund educational and campaign materials that were used by AWNN in Nepal. Our campaigns team and over 134,000 supporters addressed the Nepalese Government, pushing for a ban on slaughter at all festivals in the country, of which Gadhimai is the largest.

Compassion’s patron Joanna Lumley – who spoke at our protest in London last October - has said, “I am so thrilled and moved to think that these awful animal sacrifices are to be ended at Gadhimai … For the sacrificial creatures who would once have died there is now life, and that is the best outcome we could ever have imagined.”

It’s estimated that more than 500,000 buffalo, goats, chickens and other animals were decapitated at Gadhimai in 2009, but in 2014 the numbers had reduced significantly after an intense local campaign and the Supreme Court of India had prohibited the movement of animals across the border into Nepal.

In a statement released yesterday, the Gadhimai Temple Trust stated:

“The Gadhimai Temple Trust hereby declares our formal decision to end animal sacrifice. With your help, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is free from bloodshed. Moreover, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is a momentous celebration of life. “

A Global Effort

AWNN have expressed their deep gratitude to everyone from around the world who supported their local voice with a global voice. The animal massacre captured the public attention when hundreds of thousands of national and international supporters expressed their shock at the scale of the killing with protests held worldwide. 

The Work’s Not Over Yet

This is a ground-breaking moment for the animals, but AWNN have said there is still much work to be done in preparation for the next festival in 2019. Grass-roots education work and campaigning will be needed to ensure that the devotees adopt a new way to partake in the festival; one that celebrates life instead of death.

Without an official organisation lobbying for the continuation of animal slaughter, it’s now hoped that this landmark decision at Gadhimai represents a catalyst for the Nepalese Government to enforce an outright ban of all sacrificial slaughter at festivals in Nepal.


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