In what many consider as the world’s biggest animal sacrifice festival, thousands of buffaloes and other animals have been beheaded by Hindu worshipers in Nepal.
A priest in Nepal started the Gadhimai Festival in the wee hours of Tuesday after he sacrificed a rat, goat, chicken, pig, and a pigeon, despite the festival being banned.
The priest also offered his own blood during the sacrifice.
Baby buffaloes their mothers were forced to kneel before being beheaded in front of a huge crowd who took part in the horrible festival.
Thousands of Hindus in Nepal and India travel to the Biriyarpur Village in Nepal to watch the Gadhimai Festival.
The sacrifice festival takes part in the village every 5 years.
The festival went ahead even after the government of Nepal announced it to be banned in 2015.
Alokparna Sengupta, the managing director of the Humane Society International in India, watched the horrible sacrifice take place.
Sengupta called the incident the “one of the most depressing and challenging experience of my life”.
Sengupta said calves were forced to look at their mothers as they were being beheaded and slaughtered in front of them.
Sengupta also asked the priest of the temple to stop the sacrifice as he is the only person who can stop it.
Unfortunately, the priest did not do anything.
Talking about their work, Sengupta said, “We helped save hundreds of baby goats, pigeons, and buffaloes at the border, and devotees have brought thousands of fewer buffaloes than at previous Gadhimai events.”
She added, “We may not have a bloodless Gadhimai this time, but we are determined that one day we will see an end to this gruesome spectacle.”
Tanuja Basnet, the director of the Humane Society International in Nepal, saw the entire sacrifice event going by.
Talking about the event, Tanuja said, “There is no justification for this mass killing, and it is truly heartbreaking to witness, especially knowing that the Temple could and should have kept its promise to help these animals.”
Tanuja added, “If we had not acted, the lives of many thousands more animals would have been wasted. But it is now time for the Nepal government to step up and introduce a ban in law on animal sacrifice so that this is the last time we witness such horrors at Gadhimai.”
In 2009, the sacrifice event killed nearly 500,000 buffaloes, goats, pigeons, and other animals.
During the 2014 sacrifice festival, the numbers were reduced to 30,000, after the government stepped in.
A year later the 2014 event, the government of Nepal announced the ban of the festival but it has already started this year.
Hindus in Nepal and other parts of India believe slaughtering animals brings good luck and encourages Goddess Gadhimai, the Hindu Goddess of Power, to answer their desires and wishes.