Nepal: Photographs of the Gadhimai Slaughter – 250,000 Animals






Dutch video link:

SAV post last week: 



Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 08:11:52 -0800
Manoj Gautam, Representative of Roots and Shoots Nepal : ‘I am in
total shock after watching the killing of the buffaloes. I have no
words to describe the scene. Thousands of buffaloes were standing in
an enclosure when butchers holding swords started hacking randomly at
the animals. No one was holding the buffaloes – many tried to escape.
Baby buffaloes were bleating and searching for their mothers. Soon
they were walking around in a pool of blood. They were hunted down by
the men. Needless to say, not a single animal survived the blood bath.
In fact, some animals had already died before the sacrifice from the
transport and the lack of food and water. They were left in the same
spot with the living ones. It was a scene I will never be able to
forget. Now I just want to go home and wait for the courage to
continue our campaign.’

Krishna Singh, Programme Manager Animal Nepal: ‘I visited Gadhimai
before the killing started and what I saw made me very sad. There was
a baby goat that died from a lack of food and water. It just lied
there – no one seem to notice it. The baby buffaloes came up to me,
and wanted to be petted. They were scared and needed some comfort.’

Bibi Funyal, photographer: ‘I was assigned to film the festival. At
first I seemed okay but when the killing started I suddenly found my
knees shaking. In the beginning the butchers were able to cut the
heads of the buffaloes in one stroke. Later they seemed to get into a
frenzy and did not kill properly. I would take them a long time to
severe the heads. The buffaloes were mooing – it was a terrible sound.
The babies were searching for their mothers, not understanding what
was going. At some point a baby buffalo came up to me and it touched
my tripod. That was when I felt I would be passing out if I continued
filming. When I left the place I had to step over thousands of bodies
and heads and wade through animal blood. It was something I will never
do again, even if they offer me an award.’

Lucia de Vries, Director Animal Nepal, international campaigner: ‘Now
that I observed the festival I am convinced that these killings are
among the worst forms of animal cruelty in the world
. I pray that when
the images come out the international community will agree that we
have to stop this. To kill thousands of buffaloes without any
humanity, by starving them for 2/3 days, by not tethering them, by
carrying out the beheading publicly by butchers in a frenzy, and by
mixing the dead with the living, is something unimaginable and totally
I have a sense of failure and feel we have let these
beautiful, loyal creatures down entirely. I appeal to all concerned
citizens to do whatever is in their ability to stop the killings at

Birgunj, November 24, 2009

Statements by Gadhimai Campaigners and Other Observers

Pramada Shah, President of Animal Welfare Network Nepal: ‘After being
at Gadhimai I now have an even stronger determination to continue the
campaign as long as it takes for them to stop. No other country would
allow such a massacre.
I feel the government should have taken a
stronger stand or at least appealed to the people to worship in a non
violent manner. They used the lame excuse that this is an ancient
culture that should run its course.
I don’t blame the innocent
devotees but rather the organizers and the educated who do not seem to
care. We intend to work in coordination with the Indian groups to
raise awareness among the visitors, of whom 60-80 percent are Indian.
We also want to work with the local communities with the hope that the
next Gadhimai will be a different one.’

Lucia de Vries
Freelance Journalist
Nepal – Netherlands










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