Government directed to “halt the inhuman act of slaughtering animals at Gadhi Mai”
KATHMANDU, Nepal––Supreme Court of Nepal Justices Ishwori Prasad Khatiwada and Anil Kumar Sinha on August 4, 2016 ordered the government of Nepal “to form a special committee and take appropriate measures through it to halt the inhuman act of slaughtering animals at Gadhi Mai,” Supreme Court of Nepal spokesperson Bishworaj Poudel told reporters for the Kathmandu Post and the Himalayan Times.
Wrote Justices Khatiwada and Sinha, “People need to be made aware that slaughtering animals is not a good deed. The government should create such an environment that the people make the code of conduct themselves and abide by it.”
The two-judge Supreme Court of Nepal bench ruled in response to a writ petition filed by animal advocate Arjun Kumar Aryal on November 20, 2014, naming as defendants the Office of the Prime Minister and the Gadhi Mai Temple Management Committee.
Priests wobble on 2015 pledge to stop killing
Under pressure of a previous Supreme Court of Nepal injunction won on November 24, 2014 by Nepal Animal Welfare & Research Center founder Uttam Dahal, “We have decided to completely stop the practice of animal sacrifice,” Gadhi Mai Temple Trust secretary Motilal Prasad told the Himalayan Times on July 28, 2015.
The announcement appeared to mean the end of mass sacrifices held every five years at Bariyarpur, in western Nepal near the Indian border, which have become increasingly controversial since first emerging into media view in 1999.But some Gadhi Mai Temple Trust representatives issued statements reneging on their statements, less than 24 hours after signing an agreement to stop the Gadhi Mai sacrifices brokered by Humane Society International, the global arm of the Humane Society of the U.S.
Next Gadhi Mai festival due in 2019
The next Gadhi Mai sacrificial slaughter is scheduled for 2019.
Boosted by former King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Dev during his brief reign, 2001-2006, the sacrifices in honor of the local goddess Gadhi Mai are commonly said to have originated in the 18th century, but there appears to be no unequivocal written documentation of any such event having been held before 1999.
As many as 2,500 buffalo and hundreds of goats and chickens were killed at the 2004, 2009, and 2014 Gadhi Mai sacrifices, according to analysis of the available photographic documentation. Both the local priests promoting the sacrifices and animal advocacy organizations campaigning against them have exaggerated the verifiable toll of animal lives by as much as a hundredfold.
Investigative work by Beauty Without Cruelty-India indicates that the inflated claims about the numbers of animals sacrificed probably started with priests selling each animal multiple times to absentee sponsors. Activists then swallowed the inflated claims whole, and exaggerated them further to try to drum up global support for protest.
(See also Did the Gadhi Mai Temple Trust renege on deal to quit animal sacrifice?, Gadhi Mai sacrifices stopped, No karmic bridge links the Nepal earthquake to Gadhi Mai; Beauty Without Cruelty-India exposes Gadhi Mai scam; The toll from Gadhi Mai 2014: 750 buffalo sacrificed, 1,000 devotees in attendance; Ignoring Thanksgiving massacre, HSUS president Wayne Pacelle denounces animal sacrifice in Nepal; Supreme Court of India ruling covers tracks on Gadhi Mai sacrifice; Exposing the truth of the Gadhi Mai sacrificial slaughter; Books shed light on sacrifice in Nepal; and The origin of the Gadhi Mai sacrifice.)