The Khokana Festival in Nepal is held annually in August. During the festival a young female goat is thrown into a pond where a group of young men attack, bite and tear the goat apart while it is still alive. The man who is judged to have eventually killed the goat is named a "hero" and leads a dance procession which follows.

The local Village Development Committee sponsors this annual festival. Such a cruel and vicious act inflicted on an animal has no place in a civilized society and should be banned immediately.

We, the undersigned, respectfully call upon the Government of Nepal to ban the killing of goats at the annual Khokana Festival. In the past Nepal has banned human sacrifice and widow burning - surely the time has now come to stop the barbaric killing of goats at the Khokana Festival. We submit this plea for a complete ban for the following reasons:

1. It is undeniably cruel to the goats;

2. It depraves all those taking part in the killing;

3. It contradicts animal welfare principles;

4. It is detrimental to the image of Nepal;

5. It is detrimental to Nepal's tourist industry.

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