What We Found
In exclusive footage, Animal Equality’s 2019 investigation shows animals brutally massacred by festival attendees using machetes and other weapons at the Gadhimai festival in Southern Nepal.
UNIMAGINABLE VIOLENCE: Our investigative team documented many atrocities, including:
- 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
- calves, waiting to be slaughtered, who died due to cold temperatures
- devotees cutting the ears off goats and buffaloes, leaving them to bleed
THOUSANDS KILLED: Many animals were slaughtered at the festival. For example, aerial footage of the buffalo enclosure taken by our drones showed approximately 3,203 animals killed this year. That number could have been far worse, as the temple committee planned to sacrifice about 15,000 buffaloes. Thanks to our collaborative campaign, many animals were spared a gruesome fate.
WHAT WE DID TO HELP: Aside from our work on the ground during the Gadhimai festival, we actively campaigned to stop the killing at the festival for several months, gathering over 100,000 international signatures urging the Nepalese government to ban the slaughter of animals. We also 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 of sacrificing animal blood.
In disturbing footage filmed using drones, beheaded, dead animals are shown littering the ground, their heads left bleeding alongside their lifeless bodies.
Also filmed was the horrific killing of conscious animals by devotees, with people shown mercilessly hacking animals to death, often times taking dozens of strikes to complete the slaughter.
Most of the animals sacrificed at the Gadhimai festival were forced to travel for hours—sometimes days—without food or water to be eventually horribly killed.
Goats, rams, pigeons, ducks and roosters, to name a few, were sacrificed by the thousands at the festival, adding up to a staggering amount to terrible violence.