Presenting A Never Seen Before Video Report on the Gadhimai Festival
July 10, 2015
The two-day Gadhimai festival takes place every 5 years in Bariyarpur, Bara District of southern Nepal. During the sacrificial ceremony, hundreds of thousands of animals are slaughtered in the name of Hindu goddess Gadhimai. The last time the festival took place was on 28 November 2014 and in 2009 prior to that.
In 2014 Animal Equality campaigned tirelessly across the globe to phase out animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai festival:
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. Animal Equality India also met with the Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General of Bihar Police department – the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) -, seeking to assist them with border patrol.
As part of our partnership with the Police and Border Police departments, thirty volunteers – 10 from Maharashtra and Delhi and the rest locals – were positioned at key border crossing points known to be used frequently by Gadhimai devotees. Incidents, where those believed to be attending the festival attempted to bypass checkpoints, were brought to the attention of the police, who then confiscated the smuggled animals and filed a complaint against the offenders.
In November 2014, approximately 2,000 animals were prevented from crossing the border. Subsequently, in December Dr. Sunil Srivastava – Senior Veterinarian at Animal Equality India – inspected the locations where the rescued animals were being housed. The visit resulted in assistance being given to improving existing temporary shelters and jute bags containing bedding to keep the animals warm, feed and veterinary care was provided.
Animal Equality’s team of investigators also took position at the festival in Nepal. They used a drone to capture footage of the massacre which would later be broadcast across the world to show the true horror of Gadhimai.
Thanks to the Indian Government, Animal Equality as well as other organizations and activists, the goal of phasing out the 2014 festival was achieved, with an estimated 70 percent reduction in the number of animals sacrificed. According to some reports, the total number of animals sacrificed at the festival in 2014 was around 30,000. The two-day long buffalo slaughter of previous years was reduced to half-a-day. This resulted in the number of buffalo killings being reduced by at least 80 percent; less than 2,000 in 2014, as opposed to the planned 10,000.