On behalf of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Anti-Sacrifice Alliance we want to THANK you for signing the petition against the World's Largest Animal Sacrifice at Gadhimai.
Please go to www.gadhimai.blogspot.com for more info on the campaign.
We have handed over the petition and over 4000 signatures and comments to the Ministers of Agriculture and Tourism. They agree with our concerns but feel the issue is too sensitive. They have made suggestions to the organisers but unfortunately that will not stop the killing.
We have organised press meets, public gatherings, candle vigils, bike rallies, and tomorrow will file a case at the Supreme Court. We have talked to the head priest and organising committee. The campaign has been a great success in the sense that the whole world now knows about Gadhimai, and has expressed its outrage and sadness.
We have done everything we could, and will continue to protest at the venue. Unfortunately we have not been able to stop the sacrifice. We will be protesting and praying when the killings start this Tuesday in the early morning. we count on your ongoing support.
We will now close the petition. During the next five years we hope to launch an awareness raising campaign across the country and hope to bring a much needed animal welfare act to Nepal.
One day, we believe, animal sacrifice will be a thing of the past.
Pramada Shah & Lucia de Vries
Can you picture 7,000 young buffaloes being rounded up and killed by a thousand drunk men carrying large knives? A festival where 200,000 animals are killed to please a goddess?
This is exactly what -if nothing is done- will happen from November 24, 2009, onwards in Nepal. The Gadimai Festival in Bariyarpur, Bara District, is held each 5 years. The mass sacrifice turns the entire area into a marshy land of blood. The Animal Welfare Network Nepal together with Anti-sacrifice Alliance want to end this bloody, cruel practice.
For more information go to Worship Without Cruelty at http://animalnepal.org/campaigns_wwc.htm
We, the signatories, call on the Nepal authorities to end extreme animal cruelty at Gadimai Festival. Each five years in the month of Kartik devotees sacrifice around 200,000 animals (including 6,000 young male buffaloes). Innocent creatures are killed en masse in a very unorganised manner by drunk devotees who enter the temple area with khukuri knives to cut off the heads of frightened buffaloes.
No one can adequately explain why these practices are carried out year after year – except to say they are ‘traditional’. This however is not a valuable argument to commence these practices; Nepal, realising the adverse effects, has abolished a number of ‘traditions’ in the past, including human sacrifice and widow burning.
We feel the time has come to abolish the above practices for the following reasons:
1. Nepal is concerned about the welfare of its precious flora and fauna, and has signed a number of international Wildlife Treaties followed by the introduction of the Meat Act, which introduces humane killing of livestock and poultry. The cruelty displayed in these so-called traditions completely contradicts the spirit and gestures of these treaties and acts.
2. As tourists are abhorred by such practices, the festivals will have an adverse effect on tourism, an industry which provides the country with much-needed financial returns. Those foreigners who experience or come to know the extent of sacrifice in this country leave Nepal confused and with a heavy heart, rather than uplifted by its paradoxical beauty and friendliness.
3. Cruelty against animals harms society as a whole; it signals and normalises insensitivity in children who can become numb to the suffering of living beings, it is also known to influence certain people to commit violence on other humans. Now that the armed conflict has ended Nepal needs peaceful practices that educate the next generation for a harmonious society.
4. Sacrifices often strengthen the vested interest of those who benefit from superstition-based beliefs and rituals. As Nepal is moving ahead to become a more fully democratic, egalitarian society, it is crucial to challenge age-old beliefs which are not beneficial and drain the resources of the poor and needy.
We urge you to end the violent practices and help Nepal move towards a truly peaceful country, and in keeping with its international image. This can be done by introducing and enforcing a much-needed Animal Welfare Act to curb animal cruelty and by promoting genuine animal welfare activities across the country.
We trust that you will support these measures (which are becoming more popular by the day, around the globe and thus promote non-violent cultural practices in Nepal.
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