The mass sacrifice of animals at the Gadhimai Festival, a religious event honoring the goddess Gadhimai which takes place in Southern Nepal every 5 years, is falsely believed by many to have been banned. This is not true. Despite outcry from activists and the fact that Nepal’s supreme court directed the government to end the festival in 2016, the mass ritual continues. A temple chairman said that they cannot actually ban devout Hindus from sacrificing animals, they can only ask them to consider different sacrifices. Sadly, thousands of animals were indeed killed in this year’s Gadhimai festival.

Animal Equality was on hand to help authorities confiscate live animals being taken across the border (which is illegal even if the sacrifice isn’t). But they also captured footage of the gruesome event.

The video below contains violence and graphic content. Please use discretion.

Animal Equality told One Green Planet that they also documented sexual abuse of some of the animals at the temple, animals transported to the temple in unsafe and unhygienic conditions, animals hanging upside down on bicycles, starving animals without enough food or water, and calves dying in the cold temperature waiting to be slaughtered. 

A petition by Animal Equality before the festival received over 50,000 signatures and other people and organizations fought hard to prevent these merciless killings. Leaders in Nepal were urging people to give donations to the temple instead or to offer the goddess sweet fruits instead. Although the slaughter is absolutely horrifying, there was thankfully a 70% reduction in the number of land animals killed during the event.

We hope the next time, there is zero sacrifice. Sign this petition calling for an end to the mass animal sacrifice of the Gadhimai Festival. Now that it’s clear the slaughter continues, please raise awareness. If more people are aware that it continues, more people can speak up and act together to prevent the next festival in five years from causing so much death.

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