Today is the first of the two day mass slaughter: Gadhimai Festival. How an event where thousands of animals will be beheaded, is referred to as a festival, bemuses and disturbs me.
It is appallingly cruel and utterly unnecessary to the point of beggaring belief. The Nepalese government should hang its head in shame for letting this atrocity go ahead.
For months, my team and I have worked tirelessly in an attempt to stop this inhumane and frankly, barbaric slaughter. Joanna Lumley joined us on the streets of London, calling people to help us stop this slaughter.
She 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.”
Today, there is a sense of disappointment and incredulity. And yet – there is also hope. The Indian Government has committed to stop animals from crossing the border into Nepal. In addition, we have pushed hard for enforcement of relevant legislation designed to protect animals and people within Nepal. As a result, I am hopeful that fewer animals will be involved in the festival this time around.
The Nepalese Government is feeling the pressure from Compassion, along with a host of international animal welfare groups; as we have been campaigning to stop the festival and calling on the Nepalese government to cease all funding of it. There is a real possibility that this carnage will be the last.
Today and tomorrow, the world will be watching as the Nepalese Government stands by and allows thousands of animals to be brutally slaughtered. Join me in telling the Nepalese Government: never again.