In 2014, Animal Equality’s team of investigators documented the terrible cruelty of the Gadhimai festival and were joined by journalists, including from the Wall Street Journal. Our team used a drone to capture footage of the massacre, which would later be broadcast across the world to show the true horror of Gadhimai.
70% REDUCTION: Thanks to our tireless campaigning and collaborative efforts, there was an estimated 70 percent reduction in the number of animals sacrificed compared to 2009, where approximately 200,000 animals were sacrificed. According to some reports, the total number of animals sacrificed at the festival in 2014 was around 30,000.
INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS: During October, protests organized outside the Indian Embassies in Spain, Germany, and Italy appealed for the Government of India to implement an order restricting the movement of animals across the Indo-Nepal border.
PREVENTING TRANSPORT: As part of our partnership with the Police and Border Police departments, thirty volunteers were positioned at key border crossing points known to be used frequently by Gadhimai devotees. Festival attendees attempting to bypass checkpoints were brought to the attention of the police, who confiscated smuggled animals and filed complaints against the offenders. Approximately 2,000 animals were prevented from crossing the border.
The animals struggle as they are roughly thrown on top of buses or inside poorly-ventilated compartments to be transported to the Gadhimai Festival.
Water buffalo are released into a designated enclosure and are decapitated using machetes without any anesthetic or stunning. Many of the buffalo try to run away or huddle together in an attempt to escape the violence.
Many animals are not immediately killed, and often have to endure several blows by the machete before they finally lose conciousness.
By the end of the two-day festival, thousands of animal carcasses can be seen laid across the fields where they were killed.