The animals are killed by devotees, who have no experience or right instruments due to which the animals die a slow and most painful death. As for the cattle, the killers cannot chop off the buffaloes' heads at once; they first cut the hind legs. After the animal falls on the ground the men hack until the buffalo's head is separated from the body. It takes up to twenty five attempts to kill a big buffalo.
Since 70% of the visitors to the Gadhimai festival are from bordering Indian states and they carry animals with them across the Indo-Nepal border, Animal Equality met with the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and requested them to stop the movement of animals across the border during the days of the festival.
In a prompt action, the MHA issued a directive stating that the border security force to put all Border Posts on high alert and sensitize the troops to restrict movement of animals during the Gadhimai festival.
Amruta Ubale of Animal Equality says, “We highly appreciate the Government of India’s action towards this issue and are thankful to them. Our fight does not stop here though. We have always believed in transforming orders, be it from the government or courts into action. We are now working towards implementation of this directive.”
Nepal is one of the very few countries that has no laws pertaining to animal welfare. Festivals featuring public beheading of animals are shown live on Nepalese TV channels. The Nepal government had provided 4.5million Nepalese rupees as funds for this festival in 2009.
Amruta Ubale says, “The history of this festival dates back about 260 years when Bhagwan Chaudhary, dreamt that his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice to goddess. He started the ritual with drops of his own blood from five parts of his body. How does animal sacrifice come in the picture? The devotees should stick to the original tradition.
We have rolled out a petition in which we have requested the Government of Nepal to organise a blood camp, where devotees give their own blood (few drops) to appease the deity. This in turn will also help needy humans, if the blood is donated.
Animal Equality’s petition also requests the Nepal government to:
· - Withdraw all support provided to the Gadhimai animal sacrifice event.
· - End the barbaric Gadhimai animal sacrifice.
· - Introduce strong law banning animal sacrifice in Nepal.
· - Encourage the devotees to follow symbolic sacrifice of white pumpkin, gourd, etc.,
Amruta Ubale says, “It is undisputed that ritual of animal sacrifice is part of human history. However, it should definitely not be a part of the present because as we progress, we must discontinue traditions which are not in consonance with right thinking and involves senseless torture to sentient beings. This has been followed in the past in Nepal by abolishing human sacrifices and sati, burning of widows on the pyres of their husbands.”
Animal Equality India
Animal Equality India