Sometimes you find out about an animal welfare nightmare so terrible you simply have to do everything within your power to stop it. When we found out about the Gadhimai festival, and the suffering it causes to hundreds of thousands of farm animals, we knew we had to take action on a global scale.
In just two months time the Gadhimai slaughter festival is set to take place in Nepal. Estimates expect the inhumane sacrifice of over a quarter of a million farm animals. At Compassion we’re mounting an international campaign to stop the festival in support of the grass-roots campaign being run by Animal Welfare Network Nepal.
The good news is we’re not alone. On my recent trip to India I discussed plans to stop this terrible festival with Mrs Maneka Gandhi, the Indian government minister, who is at the heart of a huge movement across India to stop this mass-slaughter.
The festival, which takes place in the name of the goddess Gadhimai, has been going on every 5 years for the last 260. This year’s festival is expected to be the biggest yet and if allowed to continue will cause immeasurable suffering to the animals involved.
In the run up to the festival tens of thousands of buffalo will be corralled into a giant pen, with no shelter and severely limited access to water. This 28th and 29th of November over 100 slaughter men will be let loose into the enclosure. The buffalo will then be beheaded, one by one. It’s no easy task to behead a buffalo – and for many it will take more than one attempt. The way animals are treated throughout this festival is completely in breach of internationally recognised guidelines set down by the World Organisation for Animal Health of which Nepal is a member.
As well as sponsoring the work of our friends at Animal Welfare Network Nepal we’re mounting an international campaign on the Nepalese Government. We know tourism is a key part of the Nepalese economy; it’s important the government realise that the world, and its potential holiday makers, are watching and waiting to see how the Government tackles this brutal festival.
We’ve worked with animal protection groups in over 20 countries to coordinate lobbying work, and we’re expecting media stunts and demonstrations to take place outside Nepalese embassies in London, Berlin, New York, Prague, Melbourne and Tokyo. Compassion’s own protest will take place in London on October 11th – click here to join us either in person, or on-line.
Even if you can’t join us in person, do please sign Compassion’s petition and join the 70,000+ campaigners who already have.
As members of the international community, working together, I know we can put an end to this brutal festival and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of animals.