Nepal temple bans animal sacrifice

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NEW DELHI (TIP): In a significant move that will save millions of animals, Nepal’s Gadhimai temple trust on July 29 announced a ban on animal sacrifice at the Gadhimai festival, the world’s biggest animal sacrifice event held every five years.

The trust also urged devotees not to bring animals to the festival, a Hindu religious practice which has been continuing for the last 300 years. The decision will make it a bloodless festival where devotees can pray and celebrate without indulging in animal sacrifice in the hope of a better life.

“The Gadhimai temple trust hereby declares our formal decision to end animal sacrifice. With your help, we can ensure the festival in 2019 is free from bloodshed. Moreover, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is a momentous celebration of life,” chairman of the temple trust Ram Chandra Shah said.

The ban comes in the wake of India’s Supreme Court recently prohibiting movement of animals from India to Nepal for the festival. Animal rights activists in India and Nepal had been demanding such a ban for long.

Shah said, “For generations, pilgrims have sacrificed animals to the Goddess Gadhimai, in the hope of a better life. For every life taken, our heart is heavy. The time has come to transform an old tradition. The time has come to replace killing and violence with peaceful worship and celebration.”

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