Gadhimai Sacrifice – Starts Today

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The Gadhimai festival in Nepal, which is the largest animal sacrifice in
the world, is a Hindu rite which takes place every 5 years.

QCA and AIA have supported the Federation of Animal Welfare Nepal
(FAWN)’s campaigns on the occasion of the past two of these rites, which
are not supported, but not banned, by the government of Nepal. The
Supreme Court discourages religious animal sacrifice in Nepal.

Water buffalo, male goats, chickens, pigeons, ducks and rats are the
animals sacrificed in their thousands to honour the goddess Gadhimai.
This terrible event takes place this year from 17 November to 11
December. Most of the animal sacrifices take place on the first and last
day of the festival.

AIA has written, with the approval of Animal Nepal, an excellent member
of FAWN, to the government of Nepal and to the local authorities this
year too, asking them to refrain from sacrificing animals. We understand
from Hindu American Foundation that the vast majority of Hindus do not
partake in, nor do they condone, animal sacrificing rituals. Most
Hindus carry out their sacrifice to the Divine using foods like fruit,
grains and clarified butter, and through austerity measures such as
fasting.

What can we do?

Please will you remember, pray for and hold in the Light these poor
animals on the occasion of their deaths. Please also include all those
compassionate organisations in Nepal who strive, by education and
awareness projects in schools, women’s groups and other local
organizations, to bring an end to animal sacrifice in Nepal.

Please note that the Mayor of Gadhimai has been working closely with
Animal Nepal to persuade the temple committee to end animal sacrifice.

ABTA directs members to stop advertising elephant rides

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Thanks to Save the Asian Elephants’ (STAE) constant lobbying of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), ABTA now admits that all elephant rides and related activities are ‘unacceptable’ and they are directing their 5,000 corporate members to stop such advertising.

Duncan McNair of STAE welcomes this but says that more is needed.  A new UK law to ban the advertising and sale of any unethical Asian elephant related holiday is needed.

To support STAE go to http://www.stae.org

Further details in the autumn edition of Animal Spirit.