The next Gadhimai Festival is scheduled for the end of 2014. It is held every five years in in the Bara District of Nepal, south of Kathmandu. Over the week long course of the festival hundreds of thousands of animals are expected to be killed.
Participants in the festival are adherents to a tribal sect believing that sacrifice to Gadhimai, the local HIndu goddess of power connections, will end evil and bring prosperity. They are predominantly from the neighbouring Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Terai – holding the event in Nepal circumvents the ban on animal sacrifice in their own states.
Compassion in World Farming and The Hindu Council UK are spearheading the campaign against the slaughter here, joining animal welfare advocates in Nepal and around the world in opposing the intended slaughter. Sources put the numbers killed in the 2009 event at between 250,000 and 500,000 individuals. Buffaloes, goats, roosters, rats, pigeons and pigs are all included in the slaughter.
The Nepalese government fund the event, in 2009 spending £32,000 on animals, which is 50 times the average annual wage in Nepal. In 2009 it initiated a radio campaign urging farmers to sell livestock to make sure there were no shortage of victims during the festival. Campaigners want to see the Nepalese Government stop enabling the mass killing.
Also see QCA reporting on the 2009 Gadhimai Festival:-
For the 2014 UK campaign please see: