The Gadhimai festival is the largest ritual animal killing in the world and held every five years at the Gadhimai temple in Nepal. The attendees believe that sacrificing animal blood will bring them good fortune. Many animals are forced to walk for hours, or days, without food and water to get to the temple. Some are transported in cramped trucks and buses, or even tied onto bicycles. The temple committee assigns slaughter licenses to chosen devotees. Most licensees have no prior experience in slaughtering animals and many are intoxicated while killing.
The atrocities that Animal Equality has documented at the festival violate the order of the Supreme Court of Nepal, which states that cruel, brutal, and unkind treatment towards animals shall not be allowed.
Animal Equality has been actively campaigning to end animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai festival since 2014, with investigators and volunteers on the ground in 2014 and 2019/2020 to report on the horrors inflicted on helpless animals before and during the festival.
Thanks to our tireless campaigning and collaborative efforts since 2014, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of large animals sacrificed compared to 2009, when approximately 200,000 large animals were killed. Most recently at the 2019 Gadhimai festival, our exclusive drome footage revealed only a few thousands large animals were killed. Though we mourn the tragic number of lives still lost, we are heartened to know our efforts have been working.
We've worked to reduce and elimate animals slaughtered at festival by sending investigators into Nepal to document the brutality, and in turn, releasing these investigations to reveal what really happens at the Gadhimai Temple. In response to our footage, the public outcry was felt across the world. We were also joined in 2014 on the ground by journalists from the Wall Street Journal, further amplifying our work.
Aside from our investigations, we also organized protests at Indian embassies around the world, asking the government of India to restrict the movement of animals across the Indo-Nepal border. Our combined work led to a measure by the Indian government that banned the transport of animals into Nepal for the festival. We the partnered with local officials and volunteers at border crossing checkpoints to enforce the ban, leading to thousands of animals spared.
In an effort to prevent more violence, in 2019 we collaborated with the Red Cross Society of Nepal to organize a blood donation camp, where devotees could give their blood to honor the deity instead. And in 2020, our international petition asking the Nepali government to ban animal sacrifice has been signed by tens of thousands of people and gains more every day. With your continued help, we will end animal sacrfice at Gadhimai for good.
Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. Our investigations are the most important work we do and have helped millions of animals.