The Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) spoke out strongly on January 16 against a bull fight which is scheduled to be organised in Kathmandu on February 1 and 2 by the Nepal Olympic Museum and Maghe Sankrati Fair Management Committee.

“We are against blood sports and feel we need to teach future generations to respect the environment and animals. We can have fun with animals, but not by forcing them into fights and ultimately hurting them,” said Pramada Shah, Chair of AWNN.

The bull fight is scheduled to include eight bulls and will distribute prizes to the ‘winners’.

AWNN believes that cruelty against animals has no place in a modern society. The way bulls are treated during bullfights is contrary to the values of animal welfare usual in any modern society. We now know that bulls – like other mammals – are sentient beings capable of feeling pain and suffering. The claims that the bull grows in combat and in fact enjoys being hurt in a bull fight defies all reason.

Annual bull fights take place at Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts during Maghe Sankranti festival. In the absence of any welfare provisions or medical care, Animal Nepal’s Managing Veterinarian Sudeep Koirala has been treating injured bulls at the event during the past years.

AWNN last year observed that the bull owners were not much interested in joining the event. “Our bulls tend to fall sick after the fight, due to increased stress. Also, there is always the danger of a serious injury. The prize money does not begin to cover the losses we may encounter,” said one bull owner, who added that the community pressurizes bull owners to join the event, as it is considered a part of local heritage.

If you have not already done so, please sign a petition against the bull fight here.

~ Thanks to Lucia de Vries for this report.