Search icon

Gadhimai: The bloodshed continues

News Section Icon Published 19/11/2019

Update – Gadhimai 2019

Despite efforts from multiple NGOs to prevent the mass sacrifice of animals at this year’s festival, sadly, many thousands of animals were still slaughtered.

Thank you to everyone who took action by signing Animal Equality’s global petition, calling on the Nepalese government to stop this mass killing. The petition has already gained more than 94,000 signatures, sending a clear message to decision makers that this horrific practice must end.

Though the festival is now over, the critical work to prevent future suffering is not. We will continue to support local efforts on the ground – led by such groups as the Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal (FAWN) and Humane Society International – in order to maintain pressure on the Nepalese government to end the bloodshed.

IMG 1788 (1)

Thousands of animals are expected to be slaughtered at this year’s Gadhimai Festival in Nepal (3rd – 5th December).

Immense suffering

The festival which has been held every five years for centuries, has seen hundreds of thousands of animals sacrificed, all in the name of the goddess Gadhimai. These animals suffer immensely, ending their lives in fear and pain.

The biggest ritual killing of animals on the planet dates back some 270 years. Legend has it that Gadhimai appeared to a prisoner in a dream, promising him his freedom in exchange for a blood sacrifice and so began a gory custom that grew over the centuries into the mass slaughter of modern times.

Disappointing update

In 2015, the Gadhimai Temple Trust announced their decision to “end animal sacrifice” with future festivals being a “celebration of life”. Their statement was widely reported not just by animal welfare organisations but by global press outlets. This ban would have covered animal sacrifice within the Temple's jurisdiction; however, slaughter would still be permitted outside of the arena.

Disappointingly, the Temple Trust now seems to be going back on this announcement, allowing slaughter to take place at this year’s festival within the temple grounds.

Action to end the mass slaughter

Compassion is supporting the Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal (FAWN), who are working at the Indian boarder to help prevent animals being illegally imported into the country ahead of the festival. We have also written to the Nepalese Ambassador here in the UK, urging them to take action to end the bloodshed.

We are supporting Animal Equality’s global petition calling on the Nepalese government to stop this mass slaughter of animals and introduce a law banning animal sacrifice in Nepal.